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EVERYMAN A Morality Play 



A Morality 

Edited with an introduction 
notes and bibliography by 


With illustrations 


Copyright iqo8 by 
Mitchell Kennerley 


i f. r i / r 

To My Mother 




EVERYMAN ...... Frontispiece 

Character Group ...... 83 

EVERYMAN. Commaunded I Am to Go a 

Journaye ...... 95 

KNOWLEGE. Everyman, I Wyll Go with The 

and Be Thy Gyde . . . .109 

CONFESSYON. Here Shall You Receyve That 

Scourge of Me . . . . .ill 

EVERYMAN. O Eternal God, O Hevenly Fygure 112 

EVERYMAN. I Go before, There I Wolde Be : 

God Be Our Gyde . . . .122 

GOOD DEDES. Nay, Everyman, I Wyll Byde 

with The 126 


A COMPREHENSIVE appreciation of Every- 
man involves some knowledge of the dramatic 
development of which it is a part. The Moral- 
ity was no sudden form of play, sprung into exist- 
ence; it was based upon an historic tradition of rare 
interest, involving centuries of social progress. 
Changes in civilization, in thought, in form, are not 
sharply defined, but grade, one into the 
THE other, and follow evolutionary laws. The 
CHURCH, student of medieval literature, of the lit- 
erature of any epoch, will find reasons 
for the existence of a particular genre only in so 
far as he understands the social forces that called it 

In the early history of the drama this fact is strik- 
ingly illustrated, since the drama became an accessory 
of the Church, to satisfy a social want. Scholars are 
now well agreed that the sources of the modern 
drama are not to be found in the theatres of Greece 
and of Rome. Mention is made of a Greek play, deal- 
ing with the Passion of Christ, which was probably 
written in the IVth century by St. Gregory Ndzian- 
zen, who died A. D. 390; one Latin comedy, con- 
structed along the lines of Plautus; and six Latin 
comedies by Hroswitha, a nun of the Gandersheim 
convent, Saxony. But save for the fact that Greg- 


ory drew his form from Euripides, and Hroswitha 
from Terence, there is little in spirit or in purpose to 
show any deeper influence from the classic drama. 
These plays were more on the order of the later 
Scholar pieces which rarely reached any other atmos- 
phere than that of the monastery. It is to the 
Church that the modern drama owes its life, and 
in the Church that dramatic beginnings were nur- 

Christianity, from the first, had some vital and con- 
flicting forces with which to contend. On the one 
hand, there were paganism and Judaism, with their 
countless forms and customs ; and on the other hand, 
a people, unthinking and ignorant, who were at- 
tracted toward the licentious amusements encour- 
aged by paganism. Against this opposing tide, the 
Christian Church set an art which would help allay 
the restless ignorance of her converts. The congre- 
gations that listened to the Latin sermon did not un- 
derstand Latin; the Bible was not an open book to 
them, since they could not read ; it was natural there- 
fore that form alone became symbolical of all that 
the priest was saying in a strange tongue. 

To this new form the character of the service lent 
itself readily. In the IVth and Vth centuries, " the 
public worship of God assumed, if we may so speak, 
a dramatic, theatrical character which made it at- 
tractive and imposing to the mass of the people, who 
were as yet incapable of worshipping God in spirit 
and in truth." There was one underlying motif 
throughout the service, a deep religious strain which 
became more profound as each step in the life of 


Christ was magnified through the desire to live again 
the life of the Crucified. Deeper and deeper this 
desire became, until the Divine Presence rose before 
His people in the transubstantiation of the bread and 
wine. An examination of the Mass will show this 
steady increase in intensity and in dramatic content. 
The questions of the priest and the responses of the 
congregation made definite divisions, not unlike char- 
acter divisions. The service was necessarily dramatic 
since the Life was fraught with passion. 

The term dramatic, applied to religious ceremony, 
is only a term after all, inclusive in its meaning, and 
used to impress a material fact. Man, himself made 
after the image of God, is to his fellow men flesh 
alone, through whose outward action the spirit be- 
comes manifest. The religious impulse, awakened by 
the historic fact of the life of Christ, found expres- 
sion through action, through physical, human means. 

To the people, the early Church was the home of 
intellectual and moral training. It was well for 
them to hear the Biblical stories ; it was better for 
them, the clergy argued, to see the stories repre- 
sented. During the service, the attitudes assumed 
by the priests soon resulted in traditional poses sim- 
ilar to those portrayed in figures on the walls of 
the church, and by such tableau effects, the soil for 
the drama was prepared. We read in the Ordinary 
of the Mass : " Standing at the foot of the Altar, 
and having bowed to the Cross or the Altar, the 
Priest signs himself with the sign of the Cross from 
the forehead to the breast, and says in a distinct 
voice . . , J? Again the instructions are : " First 


extending, then joining his hands, the Priest 
says . . ." and so on throughout the service. 

As the Church grew in power, her magnificence of 
outward pomp soon equalled that of the State. The 
temporal and spiritual dignitaries vied, one with the 
other, for the ascendency. The vestments and orna- 
ments of the Church assumed a symbolism in har- 
mony with the symbolism of the service. The color 
generally used was white to typify salvation. Long 
coats richly embroidered, royal purple vestments to 
signify a majesty above the temporal power every- 
thing tended to supplement some part of the service 
and to vivify the impression made upon the people. 

It was the object of the early Christian Church to 
present to the congregation pictures which would 
illustrate the story of Christ's Life and Resurrection 
in such a way as to be understood by the people. 
They were simple folk, these converts of the early 
centuries ; their great pleasure was in spectacles where 
action alone revealed the content. A simple nature 
is thus easily impressed, and display produces its 
usual amount of awe. Music, costume, action, three 
dramatic essentials, were adopted by the Church, and 
the service became more ornate, while its spirit re- 
mained unchanged. The people could not, as yet, 
distinguish between the outward and the inward in- 
terpretations. So the drama and religion co-oper- 
ated to produce spiritual results. The one was a 
mere element of the other, until the two spirits dra- 
matic and religious began to struggle for ascend- 
ency and finally separated. The Church service 
sought expression through dramatic means. It was 


not drama until the presence of extraneous dialogue 
made it so. Then was it that the strictly liturgical 
drama was evolved from and formed part of the 
Church service. 

Some writers have given as a reason for the estab- 
lishment of Easter before Christmas that the former 
had its counterpart in the Jewish Passover, while 
Christmas had no corresponding fes- 
EASTER AND tival in the calendar of the Old Tes- 
CHRISTMAS tament faith. But certain it is that 

PLAYS. the religious impulse of the early 
Church clung at first to what in his- 
toric time was nearest the Crucifixion and the events 
attendant upon it. The first dramatic indications, 
therefore, are Easter plays, based upon what are 
commonly called tropes. These are defined by Leon 
Gautier (Hist. Poes. Liturg. au Moyen Age: Les 
Tropes) as new and unauthorized passages intercal- 
ated among the words of the authentic and official 
text, expanding the original theme, and often ex- 
ceeding the original text in length. 1 Probably the 
earliest trope extant was done in the Xth century by 
Tutilon, a monk of the Swiss monastery of St. Gall.* 

Space will not permit of more than a cursory ex- 
amination of the Easter and Christmas plays. 
Tendencies must be looked at broadly, and from the 
mass of material those salient points must be con- 
sidered that will best illustrate the development lead- 
ing to Everyman. 

The early Easter plays dealt with the incidents 

*Gayley, Forefathers, p. IB; Chambers, II., 15; Frere, W. 
H., The Winchester Troper. 


centering about the Resurrection. The choir which, 
in the Church service, had split in twain for question 
and response, now further separated. Three person- 
ages, representing the Marys, proceed to the altar, as 
the symbolic grave of Christ, where they are met by 
two figures singing : " Whom seek ye in the sepul- 
chre, O Christians " (Quern quceritis in sepulchro, O 
christicolce) ? The Marys answer : " Jesus of Na- 
zareth, the crucified, O dwellers in heaven " (Jesum 
Nazarenum crucifixum, O ccdicolai) ! And the reply 
follows : " He is not here ; He is risen, as He has 
prophesied ; go, proclaim that He has risen from the 
sepulchre " (Non est hie, surrexit sicut prosdixerat; 
ite, nuntiate quia surrexit de sepulchro). 

This primitive dialogue followed directly the third 
response given with the three lessons of the day. 
The special significance was that the clergy intro- 
duced extraneous material into the liturgy, accom- 
panied by limited but definite action. This might 
increase by means of accretion and of incorporation 
with other dialogues, but in the germ it was the be- 
ginning of the drama represented. 

A manuscript of the Xth century, coming from 
England, contains the following description : " While 
the third lesson is being recited," it reads, " four 
brethren [of the monastery] shall costume them- 
selves, and one of these, who is to act a different 
part from the rest, shall enter, clothed in a long, 
white garment [alb], and, going to a position at the 
side of the tomb [altar], shall sit there quietly, hold- 
ing a palm-branch in his hand. And when the third 
response has been completed, the other three shall 


come up, dressed in long, flowing garments [copes], 
and bearing illuminated censers in their hands [thur- 
ibles] ; and they shall go to the tomb slowly, as if 
looking for something. And now, when he who is 
sitting at the tomb observes these approach ... he 
shall begin by singing softly, ' Whom geek yeT * 

Finding the linens from Christ's body, " they shall 
put down their censers, take up the linens and spread 
them out before the clergy, as if they wished to show 
that the Lord had risen, and was no longer wrapped 
in them. Having sung the antiphony, * the Lord is 
risen from the tomb/ they shall place the linens upon 
the altar." 

This simple dialogue and action ultimately resulted 
in the numerous Passion plays of a later date; the 
writers seem to have been bound to the progress of 
the Biblical text, and though certain liberties were 
taken with the characters of Pilate, Herod, and the 
soldiers, the plays show, above all, the hand of the 
established ecclesiastic, rather than that of the em- 
bryo artist. 

Hence the Christmas plays illustrate better than 
the Easter plays the development of the dramatic 
impulse, because they allowed the ecclesiastic a freer 
and more diversified treatment. In them are found 
for the first time an attempt at some plot and the 
introduction of something more human than the 
Resurrection scene would permit. The limitations of 
the Easter commemoration were due to the fact that 
its subject-matter touched the most sacred point in 
the Christian worship; for this reason, and also be- 
cause the mystery of the Resurrection was impossible 


to represent, there was not enough scope for dra- 
matic action. 

There is no doubt that the Christmas plays were 
based on tropes similar in form to those of the 
Easter plays. The question comes : " Tell us, 
shepherds, whom seek you in the manger? " with the 
answer : " The Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, a child 
wrapped in swaddling-clothes, according to the word 
of the angel." Then follows another speech, telling 
of the birth and recalling the prophecy of Isaiah. 

Reaching back into the Old Testament, and look- 
ing upon all that occurred before the birth of Christ 
as a preparation for His coming, the material for the 
Christmas plays becomes centred about five main 
topics the Magi, the Shepherds, Herod, Rachel, 
and the Massacre of the Innocents. These were de- 
picted in many forms, first as single actions or 
dramas, and then they became incorporated bodily 
with other plays. A piece, The Office of the Star, 
given at Rouen, on the Epiphany, bears traces of two 
plays, The Office of the Magi (Limoges, MS. XlVth 
c.) and The Office of the Shepherds (Rouen, MS. 
XlVth c.), and shows the beginning of that cyclic de- 
velopment which is so well exemplified in the Pro- 
phetes du Christ. The part these plays occupied in 
the Church service is in many cases indicated at the 
beginnings of the manuscripts. The directions for one 
such piece state that on the sacred night of the birth 
of the Lord, after the Te Deum is sung, the play of 
The Shepherds shall begin, followed by the Mass ; the 
directions for another that on the Epiphany, after the 
third response, three priests of high rank, represent- 


ing the Magi, shall come to the altar, and that after 
the play has ended the service shall begin. 

The manner in which these plays were presented 
depended at first on what accessories the Church had 
at hand. The star of Bethlehem was attached to a 
cord ; the manger was built near the altar ; and a 
statue represented the Christ. The angel who an- 
nounced the birth was a child, suspended on a high 
platform. The costliness of their gowns and gold 
ornaments distinguished the Magi from the Shep- 

The plays dealing with Herod made the material 
freer to handle, since the dramatist here felt himself 
dealing with an historical character rather than a 
religious figure. The Lament of Rachel likewise was 
treated purely from the human standpoint. In these 
plays there is evident a nearer approach to dramatic 
ideals, and a farther removal from the liturgical re- 
quirements. What is most striking to the student 
is the utter lack of any new view-point in the work- 
ing over of old material by these writers. It never 
seemed necessary to them to give proportion to the 
progress of the plot; to exert much originality. 
What was done was done, and would serve the pur- 
pose of another writer, provided a continuous picture 
was shown, or an uninterrupted story told. 

First came The Shepherds, and then The Adoration 
of the Magi. These were united by some new hand, 
with a visible line of joining, and placed further 
in a Herod drama, which in its turn led the way to 
The Massacre of the Innocents. A manuscript of 
the Xlth century, entitled Ordo Rachaelis, indicates 


that the unknown author reached back to the Shep- 
herds, the Magi, and the Herod dramas for material, 
and, in addition, introduced a scene, new to the litur- 
gical drama, entitled The Flight of the Holy Family. 

No account of these plays would be complete with- 
out mention of the Prophetes du Christ (Limoges, 
MS. Xlth c.). It was the purpose of the early 
clergy, notably in the case of St. Augustine, to show 
that the Old Testament was but a preparation for the 
New. The play is what its literal name implies ; 
among the prophets, Israel, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, 
Daniel, David, Simeon, Elizabeth, John the Baptist, 
Virgil, and Aaron, each in turn, and in answer to 
doctrinal questions propounded, presumably by Au- 
gustine, tells of Christ's coming. The dialogue 
takes place in the middle of the nave of the church. 
In one or two cases the prophets argue with Jews who 
dispute with them. The play is based upon a sermon 
of St. Augustine, and many smaller dramas were like- 
wise founded upon the same subject. A Rouen manu- 
script more developed than the Limoges manu- 
script bears the title, Procession de VAne, and 
shows a marked advance over any others in the intro- 
duction of the popular characters of Nebuchadnezzar, 
and Balaam and his ass. 

The actors who presented these plays were clerics. 
One by one, the prophets, coming from the cloister, 
advanced, guided by two clerks of the second order. 
In the nave was placed the throne of Nebuchadnezzar, 
and near it a furnace, not far from which three young 
Jews were seated. These were to await their turn to 
be thrown into the flames for their obstinancy in not 
believing in Nebuchadnezzar's idols. When his time 


came, Balaam rode forth, astride an ass, which 
stopped and refused to move, despite blows and kicks ; 
we hear of complaints of severe treatment from the 
man hidden in the animal's skin. Among the prophets, 
Moses held the law and a rod in his hand; he wore 
an alb and a cope, and had horns and a long beard. 
Isaiah, bearded, was clad in an alb, and a red stole 
surrounded his forehead; Aaron wore his episcopal 
ornaments, held a flower in his hand, and was mitred 
and bearded; Jeremiah had his sacerdotal vestments 
and held a parchment roll; John the Baptist's feet 
were bare, and in his hands was the text of the Evan- 
gel. The costumes of the others were not much more 
diversified. Each prophet, when he had finished, 
stepped behind Nebuchadnezzar's furnace to await 
the processional which was finally to take them all to 
the choir. 

The growth of plays by accretion, by assimilation, 
constituted the cyclic development. The unknown 
dramatist did not use particular plays as models, but 
the plays themselves were taken, as we have seen, and 
worked into the plot and progress of the story. In 
the beginning, the Christmas dramas were simply 
types, similar almost to the answer and response of 
the Church service. Presented on days of great ec- 
clesiastical importance, these pieces were subjected to 
an atmosphere of growing magnificence. But as the 
plays increased, textually, and had introduced into 
them a greater number of characters, necessity 
pushed the purely religious elements away from the 
dramatic, and the latter being most popular, became 
dominant. As play after play was amalgamated, 
new points were brought in and accentuated, showing 


a change of hand and a constructive mind behind the 
completed work. Through a period, from 900 to 
1200 A.D., this evolution continued. 

Wilhelm Creizenach (Geschichte des Neueren 
Dramas') summarizes the general character of the de- 
velopment just traced. So clear and suggestive are 
his remarks that in part they are here translated : 

" We have seen that in spite of the varying char- 
acteristics of these festivals, and of the dramas 
that developed from them, many analogies between 
them are apparent. Above all is evident the effort 
to enlarge the texts more and more, at first merely 
by means of adding, mosaic fashion, pieces from 
the Gospels or from Church songs, but afterward 
by including pieces, which in prose or verse were 
especially composed for the purpose. In the verse 
is illustrated the gradual progress of these cen- 
turies in the art of Latin rime, and though for 
some time, especially in plays of the Three Kings, 
hexameter was used in addition to rime, yet the 
ascendency was held by rhythmic poetry, which 
was steadily growing in beauty and elaborateness. 
Above all, a solemn and earnest tone is at the basis 
of the dramas; though, on the other hand, there 
are already apparent passages intended to touch 
the emotions, as in the parts of Mary Magdalen, 
of Herod, and of the foolish Virgins. 

" The manner of representation was at first the 
simplest imaginable. There was no attempt to go 
further than to costume the personages of the ac- 
tion according to their parts, by aid of the various 
garments of the clergy. Nevertheless there also 
appeared new requirements, as a palm-branch for 


the angel at the grave, or crowns for the kings. 
When, however, the devil, the soldiers of Herod, and 
the many different characters of the Prophet play 
appeared on the stage, a greater variety in costum- 
ing was necessary. With the development of the 
plays and their separation from the Church service, 
it is probable that more care was devoted to the 
adornment of the places where each individual 
stood, but nevertheless it seems that people were 
satisfied with a treatment which merely indicated 
the places symbolically. 

" It has frequently been noticed that the early 
medieval drama in its development out of Church 
usages offers a certain analogy to the commence- 
ment of Greek tragedy. Yet in the very first 
stage of the medieval drama, a mark of distinction 
is apparent, one which ever becomes of greater sig- 
nificance. The dramatic portrayal of events from 
sacred history had the same aim as the paintings of 
the church, the same aim which the English liber 
consuetudinum connects with the ceremonial of the 
burial of the Cross on Good Friday of strength- 
ening the unlettered people in their belief. Such 
representations [as the liturgical plays] can be de- 
scribed as a sort of instruction by observation, in 
which the people, knowing no Latin, drank in with 
their eyes what could not come to them by merely 
listening. . . . Since as little as possible was or could 
be put behind the scenes, the spectator might see 
everything, and, as it were, grasp all in hand. . . . 

" There was an inconvenience connected with the 
fact that all persons must appear and take their 
places on the stage at the beginning of the play, 


for it was not possible thus to produce any effect 
of surprise by making a new personage come un- 
expectedly into view. Hence the medieval poets 
frequently excluded individual persons from the 
mass of the great procession at the play's opening. 
For instance, the composer of the French Morality 
Charity (XVth, XVIth c. vide Petit de Julleville 
Repertoire du theatre comique) does not bring 
forward the terrible figure of Death at the general 
display with which the drama begins, but waits 
till the proper time in the course of the action. 
Scenes like the appearance of Antichrist and of 
King Darius, prove, however, that this effect [of 
surprise] was made use of at a much earlier time. 
Also in the oldest French play of Adam, the pro- 
phets are told in the stage directions to remain 
out of sight till the time for their Dart is at hand." 

Concerning the manner in which the text of these 
liturgical plays was delivered, M. Coussemaker has 
collected music from these dramas, showing that most 
of the dialogues must have been chanted or sung. 
The music was not decorative, however much it might 
have entered into the spirit of the play. 

In the tentative period, foreshadowing that of the 
transition and that of the XlVth and XVth centuries, 
when the well-known Mystery cycles were in the as- 
cendency, the student of medieval literature will meet 

with great changes due to social 

THE TRANSITION evolution. For instance, the 

PERIOD. adoption of the vernacular was 

not sudden ; it came slowly, intro- 
duced by means of fragmentary and explanatory 
passages in plays and sermons. 


Starting with a purely religious motive, the drama 
followed the lines of social development, and was af- 
fected by social changes. The popularization of 
plays which were religious in character, but which 
were not religious plays, was coincident with the em- 
phasis of a new class of people, which during the 
Xllth, XHIth, and XlVth centuries, became a vital 
factor in the social organism. The dramatic ele- 
ments, at first accepted as the visible exposition of a 
faith, and interpreted in a language unknown, save 
in the Church, now became in themselves an end. 
From the simplest suggestion, illustrative of a re- 
ligious text, they developed, by enlargements and 
additions of various kinds, into independent plays. 

On the other hand, the Church had to meet a neces- 
sity upon which her very existence was to depend. 
The need of making herself understood by an illit- 
erate people brought on a gradual modification in 
the language, coincident with the introduction of the 
dramatic elements. These elements were used through 
necessity, but after being accepted as essential, their 
further development became wholly independent, cor- 
responding with the increase of the dramatic interest 
of the people. 

The few instances in which the vulgar tongue was 
used in the liturgical drama show the stress to which 
the clergy were put. They were either forced to meet 
a social demand, or to relinquish one means of their 
social influence, and while among themselves the 
Latin language might be used, they realized that a 
dividing line must be drawn intellectually between 
what was intended for the Church and for the world. 


The rise of the Scholar plays, written in the Latin 
tongue especially for the clergy, was a partial re- 
sult of this division. 

The change in language hastened a period of tran- 
sition in spirit, a transition from the dramatic in the 
religious to the religious in the dramatic. The 
Church became a prey to outside influences which 
sought to degrade the clergy; but, attacking both 
religious institutions and religious literature, it was 
easier, in the end, to restore order in the Church 
through canonical proscriptions of these extraneous 
influences than to root out from the literature a 
popular spirit drawn from the life of the time. 

In 1125, when Abelard was offered the abbotship 
of the monastery of St. Gildas de Ruys, in Lower 
Brittany, it is said that he found the country wild; 
the inhabitants half-barbarous, and speaking a lan- 
guage unintelligible to him ; the monks violent, un- 
ruly, and dissolute, openly living with concubines; 
the lands of the monastery subjected to intolerable 
burdens by the neighboring lord; and the monks in 
poverty and discontent. " Instead of finding a home 
of God-fearing men, eager for enlightenment, he 
found a nest of greed and corruption." 

Feudalism, the foundation of the life of the Middle 
Ages, affected the ecclesiastical world, and class dis- 
tinction among the clergy, as among the laity, made 
it possible for the religious office to become one of per- 
sonal aggrandizement, with a power which even the 
nobles, which even the monarch himself, did not have ; 
the spiritual power of salvation or damnation. 
And while the heads of the Church were thus vying 


with the temporal power, the subordinates, seeing the 
lax condition of their religious orders, took advan- 
tage, and, through negligence, often sank into ig- 
norance and vice. 

Elinand wrote : " Every prelate is established by 
God, above nations and above kingdoms. From the 
beginning, God has desired that all secular dignity 
should be subject to ecclesiastical authority, and 
dwell face to face with it in the relation of inferior 
to superior, of the lowest to the highest." This was 
the position which the Church claimed to hold, and the 
stronger men of the clergy, fearing that their au- 
thority was in jeopardy, soon realized the necessity 
of checking the degradation of the priesthood. Thus 
there arose the spirit of reform. The clergy began 
to be condemned by the clergy; the unworthy criti- 
cized by the worthy. Cardinal de Vitry taxed the 
prelates because of incontinency, and added : " How 
are we to blame the women . . . when they [the pre- 
lates] delight themselves in the weakness of gorgeous 
costumes. The women, at least, have for an excuse 
to please their husbands." Another exclaimed : " See 
how the bishops live, how they travel! Is it thus 
that their predecessors, Peter and Paul, did? " And 
so the more alert and the more pious began to impose 
restrictions upon the subordinates under their charge, 
and the seriousness of their calling began to be more 
forcibly impressed. 

The allurements of the outside world had entered 
the cloister, and by the side of the religious and 
scholarly spirit of the plays there slowly developed 
coarser elements, which lightened the hours, and af- 


forded a suspicious kind of amusement for the monks. 
Finding that this was detracting from the Church's 
chief object, restrictions were vigorously imposed. 

From this it is readily seen what effect such condi- 
tions must have had upon the literature of the time. 
If the drama, which was to be used by the Church as 
a means toward an end, was to maintain the early 
ecclesiastical traditions, it must return to its purely 
religious purpose, which had formerly been fostered 
by the intensity of the religious spirit of the clergy. 
On the other hand, social conditions had so changed 
that the clergy found themselves confronted by ele- 
ments which could not be consistently adopted, be- 
cause they were fundamentally opposed to the re- 
ligious spirit. Religious tradition and the new-born 
individuality, therefore, contended and resulted in 
a separation into two distinct genres of the drama, 
one for the clergy and the other for the people. 

In the long history of the Church, the Church 
Fathers constantly opposed actors, and limited their 
religious privileges.* They were assisting, so the 
clergy contended, in perpetuating the very amuse- 
ments which paganism had fostered, and which, with 
so much difficulty, the early Church had opposed 
and partly subdued. 

In a letter of 791, Alcuin, Abbot of Tours (735?- 
804), wrote: 

" One who brings into his house actors and mimes 
and dancers little knows how much impurity comes 
in with them." 
* Vide Bibliography under H. S. Symmes [French period ]. 


Agobard, Archbishop of Lyons, in 836, contrasted 
the state of the actor with that of the poor, in this 
manner : 

" The actors, the mimes, and the deceiving and 
infamous joculators are given money to get drunk 
on, while the poor of the Church are dying in the 
agonies of hunger." 

The pleasures of the noble class, catered to by the 
wandering minstrel, resulted in the neglect of the 
poor, and became a source of constant annoyance to 
the Church. Otto von Freisingen, a German chron- 
icler, describes the marriage of Kaiser Heinrich II. 
(reigned 1002-1024) in these words : 

" When the royal marriage was in its due course 
of celebration at the Castle of Ingelheim, a crowd 
of actors and joculators flocked there, as they had 
been accustomed to do. But the King sent them 
away empty-handed, and distributed freely among 
the poor what he had rescued from the servants of 
the devil." 

The Council of Aachen decreed that when priests 
went to marriages or officiated at other social func- 
tions, they must leave the house as soon as actors 
(" histriones, musici, out mimi ") appeared. The 
Fourth Lateran Council (1215), on the other hand, 
decreed that all Christians (including the actors 
themselves) should confess at least once a year, and 


were there no cause for the priest to refuse, even the 
latter might receive communion. But if this was de- 
nied, the actor must not be allowed to enter the 
church, nor could he thereafter be given Christian 
burial. While the tone of opposition was strong, it 
was only the opposition of the religious spirit of the 
Church to a coarse and popular spirit which was be- 
coming manifestly more imminent. Thomas Aquinas 
(d. 1274), in his Summa Theologies, wrote: 

" As has been said, the drama is necessary in 
human society, . . . and the function of the 
actors, which is to give recreation to mankind, is 
neither in itself improper, nor do those persons sin 
who exercise it with moderation in a play. How- 
ever, they must not use forbidden words, nor depict 
improper events, nor represent their drama at im- 
proper times. In so far as actors observe these 
restrictions, there is no sin in assisting them, and 
it is only just, moreover, to pay them for their 

But the prohibition against the use of coarse 
words, the due consideration for the content of the 
subject, and the time and place of presentation were 
disregarded; the decrees soon became couched in 
stronger and more imperative language. Innocent 
III., in 1210, issued the following: 

" It is occasionally the custom to give dramatic 
representations in the church, and not only are 


hideous masks employed, which make a mockery of 
the spectacle, but at some festivities the deacons, 
priests, and sub-deacons themselves perform these 
outrageous sports. Therefore, lest the honor of 
the Church be stained by such iniquity, we com- 
mand that ye shall either take heed to root out 
from your churches that favorite custom, or see to 
the removal of every trace of corruption in those 

The prohibitions at first referred principally to the 
social status of the actor; but later the attitude of 
the Church becoming more aggressive, these prohibi- 
tions were aimed against the presentation of the 
drama within the church edifice, and, furthermore, 
against the priests taking part in any presentation 

Examples of such restrictions came from the Coun- 
cil of Treves (1227) and the Utrecht Synod (1293). 
The former stated: 

" Priests are not permitted to give dramatic rep- 
resentations, or other plays of improper character, 
within the church." 

The latter decreed: 

" We forbid that dramatic representations, 
spectacles, and the use of masks shall take place in 
the churches." 

The restrictions have one point in common a 


determined opposition to the coarseness and the buf- 
foonery which had entered the liturgical drama. The 
same spirit which emphasized the part of Balaam and 
his ass in the Prophetes du Christ was on the alert 
to take advantage of every opportunity that pre- 
sented itself to increase the farce element. When 
the prohibitions were finally enforced, the liturgical 
drama did not leave the church, but that popular 
part, from which the priests as actors were excluded, 
was pushed into the open, where, in a freer atmo- 
sphere, it readily assumed an independent and rapid 
growth. This fact, that the church now served no 
longer as a complete setting for the play, is one of 
the chief characteristics of the transition period. 
Within the sanctuary, whatever development there 
was, discordant with the religious spirit, was neces- 
sarily limited. But outside of the cloister, there 
were agents in the medieval life which were influenc- 
ing the desires of the people, and which were serving 
as a stimulus to imagination. These elements acted 
as a foil to ecclesiastical self-restraint. And once 
in the churchyard, the atmosphere throughout the 
drama changed, became freer, became more preg- 
nant with the individuality of the people, and began 
immediately to expand. 

While the new characteristics introduced into the 
plays were opposed to the religious spirit, and aided 
in driving the drama into the churchyard, the clergy 
soon saw the necessity for retaining certain details 
of a popular nature, as essential to the Church as to 
the dramatic representations. The drama, because 
of its popular touches, has always appealed to the 


more or less illiterate class. This the Church real- 
ized, and in order to preserve her power began to 
institute certain radical changes along lines similar 
to the changes being made in the drama she had re- 
lentlessly condemned. 

Humor had to be introduced into the sermons in 
order to create interest. Moreover, the priest, when 
before his congregation, was forced to adopt some 
means of keeping his hearers awake. One monk gave 
as his reason for the non attention of the people, that 
their souls were not pure. Another, in the midst of 
his sermon, seeing tired faces and drooping eyes 
around him, even among his brothers of the monas- 
tery, stopped, and in a loud voice began: 

" Once there was a king named Arthur." 

The effect was instantaneous; heads were raised 
and all showed themselves eager for the tale. But 
after the cure came the priestly indignation : 

" When I speak of God you sleep ; but to hear 
fables, you keep yourselves awake." 

We read of Jacques de Vitry (b. circa 1180; d. 
circa 1240-1260), who rose to the rank of Cardinal, 
advising the people before him to stick pins into those 
who slept. Some priests announced at the beginning 
of the sermon that they would be brief. In many 
instances, the men of the congregation left before 
the sermon, only to return when it was through. 
The cause for this seeming lack of interest was due 
to the fact that the congregation at first was not 


considered a vital participant in the service. But 
when question and response were introduced into the 
Church liturgy, and the adoption of the vernacular 
in the sermon made the service partially coherent and 
understandable to the crowd, voices in the congrega- 
tion were often raised during the progress of the ser- 
mon, disputing assertions made by the priest. 
Women especially took exception to the free mention 
of their sex in the priestly censure. Penetrating 
even to the cloister, these interruptions came from 
the clergy likewise, and were constant and vociferous. 

Outside of the monastery, those of the ecclesiastical 
brotherhood who travelled from place to place, look- 
ing after the welfare of the people, resorted to stories 
or exempla, with which to give pungency to the moral 
of the sermon. So childlike, in many respects, were 
the people of the Middle Ages ; so credulous, that it is 
not only reconcilable how a drama, based upon their 
belief, and intensified by what now seems to be super- 
stition, should have gradually developed, but it is 
natural that the clergy should now reach out beyond 
their dogmatic prejudices, and make use of the over- 
weening childlike desire for a story. 

Among the most famous exempla to be found are 
those of Jacques de Vitry. The character of the 
priest's hearers necessitated a change in his method 
of delivery, and his tales became so much sought after 
that he made a collection of his exempla for the use 
of clerics and preachers. The sarcasm, the aptness, 
the moral behind the apparent lightness, may well 
be seen by quoting a few anecdotes which are of spe- 
cial interest because of their distinct local color: 


" A certain holy man, while in choir, saw the 
devil loaded down with a full sack. He adjured 
the devil to tell him what he was carrying, and the 
devil replied that the sack was full of the syllables 
and words and verses of the psalms, abbreviated or 
omitted by the clergy, during that service. ' These 
I diligently preserve for their accusation.' ' 

" When Jacques de Vitry was preaching the cru- 
sade in a certain town, a man was persuaded by his 
wife to absent himself from the sermon. From 
curiosity, however, he stood by the window, and 
heard of the great rewards in the way of indul- 
gences, etc., promised to those who took the Cross. 
Moved at length by what he heard, he lowered him- 
self from the window, because his wife was guard- 
ing the door, and took the Cross. His example 
was followed by many." 

" A knight, about to embark on the crusade, had 
his little children, whom he dearly loved, brought 
before him, in order that his departure might be 
made more bitter, and his merit increased." 

" St. Gregory tells of a woman who ate lettuce 
without making the sign of the Cross, and swal- 
lowed the devil. When a holy man tried to exor- 
cise him, the devil said: ' What fault is it of mine? 
I was sitting on the lettuce, and she did not cross 
herself, and so ate me too.' ' 

What these exempla emphasize is above all that 
even in the Church human interest was held virtually 
by the same means as in the religious plays. The 
primary purpose was to create interest; at the same 


time the stories retained, to a less important degree, a 
touch of the religious spirit. 

Once outside the church, the drama was furthered 
by an innate love of pomp, and by a gradual increase 
in local individuality, which became manifest in the 
establishment of gilds. But before reaching the 
people and becoming vital to them, the plays had to 
undergo another change, which came simultaneously 
with the introduction of the humorous elements above 
mentioned, and which increased their popular charac- 
ter. This was the change from the Latin tongue to 
the vernacular. In the drama, previous to this pe- 
riod, French or German had been used to explain the 
Latin text, but the ecclesiastical tongue prevailed, 
and examples of the popular speech were few and 
far between. 

The innovation in language met a popular demand, 
and the Church realized that its power would aug- 
ment only so soon as her service was understood. In 
different localities, various dialects of the French and 
German tongues had long ago developed. Natu- 
rally this had resulted in Latin becoming alien to 
every one, except to the ecclesiastics. At first the 
vernacular was simply used to translate particular 
portions of the Latin text, then to paraphrase them. 
Forming at times entire refrains, the popular speech 
at last predominated, with here and there a passage 
remaining in Latin. Finally, as in the case of two 
plays, Adam and the Resurrection, which are typical 
of this period, the drama was written entirely in the 
popular tongue. 2 

A similar evolution took place in the sermons. The 


mixture called the macaronic style was used as early 
as 1262, the sermons of the XHIth century being 
divided into those addressed to the faithful, which, 
though written in Latin, were preached in French; 
and those addressed to the clerks, which were delivered 
in Latin. In Charlemagne's time (742-814), he ad- 
vised that lessons (predications) be given in the dia- 
lects which the common people could understand. 
In 813 at Rheims, Tours, and Mayence, councils de- 
creed that not only should the homilies of the Fathers 
be translated into the ordinary or popular tongue of 
the country (" in rusticam romanam Imguam, aut 
theotiscam"), but that they should be preached in 
an intelligible fashion to all people, in accordance 
with the necessities of their language (** secundum 
proprietatem Imguce "). From the Xth to the Xllth 
centuries other changes were perfected. First the 
sermons were delivered in Latin, sections being trans- 
lated by the officiant to aid the people in following 
the thread of the discourse; then the sermons were 
translated entirely, and in the Xllth century, they 
were circulated among the clergy. The effect of 
such translations in France was either to lengthen or 
to shorten the original, and at the head of the Xlllth 
century manuscripts appeared the descriptions : ** in 
vulgari, in latino "; the themes, however, according to 
LeCoy de la Marche (La Chaire Francaise), were 
announced in Latin, as they are often done to-day. 
Jacques de Vitry said: 

" When we speak in the convents and the assem- 
blies, en langue latine, we are able to say many 


things, because we are not obliged to descend to 
minute explications ; but with the laity it is always 
necessary to be precise, and to put dots over the 
i's ; for the sacred word should be as clear and as 
lucid to them as is the carbuncle stone." 

There are instances of the clergy becoming ig- 
norant of Latin, due to this introduction of the ver- 
nacular ; and in the cloister it often became necessary 
to have the Latin sermon followed by a French 

This adoption of the vernacular in the Church 
showed a desire on the part of the clergy to take the 
people more into consideration. As the drama, out- 
side of the church, was afforded vast scope in the 
selection of details not purely reh'gious, so the use 
of the vernacular lent a pliability to the treatment 
of religious material that tended to vary, rather than 
to fix, the dramatic forms. It likewise occasioned 
another change from the sung questions and responses 
of the Christmas and Easter celebrations to the 
spoken play. Music that had a vital connection with 
the service continued its growth; but the dramatist, 
through the increased dramatic instinct to write 
plays for their special dramatic value, evidently real- 
ized the importance of speech in the development of 
character. The change to the vernacular resulted 
in a local and personal individuality that infused 
renewed life into the drama, where the sung questions 
and responses had tended to keep all within pre- 
scribed religious bounds. 

During the Middle Ages the theory of music had 


attained a high development. In the Church it took 
the form of a chant, and in the liturgical plays it 
was used as a means of dramatic expression. But 
the earlier liturgical dramas, the tropes, were actual 
parts of the intoned service; and M. Coussemaker 
(L'Art Harmon, aux XII* et XIII* Siecles) be- 
lieves that the music for them was only a liturgical 
chant, with the addition of a special melody for that 
section of the drama which was not based upon the 
liturgical text. On particular Church festival-days, 
likewise, special musical features were added as or- 
ganic parts of the representations. It must be borne 
in mind that the liturgical music was to the Church a 
means toward an end, a dramatic means, moreover, 
of holding the interest of the people chiefly through 
the emotions. 

At Paris, Poitiers, Treves, Bourges, and Rouen ; 
in the many abbeys throughout France, the most 
famous being that of Saint Gall (the home of the 
Gregorian Chant), not only religious but popular 
music and the dance were taught. The instructor, 
or leader of the choir, had as his scholars* those who 
in the liturgical plays were the angels and the chil- 
dren gathered about the Jews. It was his duty to 
compose music for feast-days, and to see that noth- 
ing objectionable was introduced therein. 

Popular influence soon manifested itself in the 
music ; the Gregorian Chant, admitting of little vari- 
ation, and change being characteristic of the transi- 
tion period, extraneous melodies were written to 

* Vide Chapel boys [Babees Boke, E. E. T. S.] and Cham- 
bers, Medieval Stage, I, 336, The Boy Bishop. 


satisfy the growing popular fancy. Several agents 
were at work in accomplishing this innovation, and in 
creating a demand for it. The troubadours, the trou- 
veres, and the jongleurs were factors that hastened 
a definite separation of the religious from the popular 
elements in the music. As in the development of the 
drama, there had resulted the formation of two types 
rather than the entire disappearance of the parent 
form, so in the music a popular spirit was fur- 
thered, which did not replace the religious music, but 
created alongside of it a popular form, largely of 
the wandering minstrels' making. Indirectly this was 
another cause which tended to hasten the transplant- 
ing of the drama from the altar to the churchyard. 
" In 1227," says Leon Gautier, " the Council of 
Treves launched a severe anathema against vagabond 
scholars, truants, and * goliards,' " who appeared in 
the churches and monasteries, singing and bringing 
with them the ways of the outside world. As early 
as the Xth century, errant clerks among the clergy, 
becoming a disgrace to their orders, were made to 
flee the monasteries. Incensed, they spread evil in- 
fluences among the people and evil reports concerning 
the Church among the poor. They introduced love 
songs of a ribald character into plays, and many 
elements antagonistic to the religious spirit; they 
entered the churches and sang the Sanctus and Agnus 
Dei in such a manner as to lead the congregations 
astray. After services, beneath the walls of the 
cloister, they harangued against Rome and the Pope. 
Into the plays they introduced obscenities and pas- 
sions worldly in the extreme, and set religious words 


to a new form of music, which the people readily 
grasped and enjoyed. 

The jongleurs, as these outcasts were sometimes 
called, were an ancient class. They were in demand 
in the Middle Ages to create amusement for the 
people. They produced chansons de gestes, plays, 
and light songs, and sang them before lords and peo- 
ple. On the battle-field, in the castle, upon the street 
they found their audiences, and were showered with 
gifts and flattered with the deepest attention. They 
depicted life and action of the most varied kind; in 
their persons they exemplified freedom ; and with 
these characteristics they opposed the old religious 
spirit of the liturgical plays. 

The constant association of the jongleurs with the 
people began through popular allusions and local 
touches to affect their work. While there is extant 
no definite description of a French audience witness- 
ing a drama, still there must have been no very wide 
difference between such an audience and the crowd 
surrounding the jongleurs in the street and at the 

In the introduction to their songs, these wandering 
minstrels very frequently address those about them in 
the following manner: 

Seignors Roi, Prince et Comte, Chevalier et Baron, 
Bourgois, canoine prestre, gent de religion, 
Dames et damiselles et petit enfanchon, etc. 
(Rom. des VOBUX du Paon.) 

Seignors or entendez chevaliers et sergents, Bour- 
goises et bourgois et saiges clercs lisant, etc. 
(Rom. d'ogier le Danois.) 


But it is to be noted with interest that the common 
people are not even mentioned in this quotation. The 
minstrels, especially the trouveres and troubadours, 
were nothing if not aristocratic in their tastes, and 
knowing this, it must not be inferred that the people, 
other than those of high rank, were not gathered 
around the bard in the public squares. 

Within the church the congregation was ranged 
in a circle, and was divided, the men on one side 
and the women on the other The noble ladies, when 
they came, brought with them soft seats, carried by 
their attendants, while the other seats were furnished 
by the church; previous to the Xlllth century, in 
France, all people had been compelled to stand, and 
the nobles and chevaliers were consequently not over- 
enthusiastic in attending service. Jacques de Vitry 

" You, on the contrary, would force the priest to 
finish the Mass promptly, to abandon yourself lei- 
surely to the pleasures of the table." 

This mixed character of the worshippers within 
the church, was also marked among the crowd out- 
side; all classes of the feudal system were repre- 
sented. Lord and lady, knight and squire, monk, 
merchant, artisan, and serf came to divine worship, 
and when the plays developed in dramatic content, 
more and more people flocked to see them until they 
overflowed the church limits, causing the drama to 
pass into the churchyard. Again we find an analogy 
in the placing of pulpits in the churchyard, and in 


the clergy haranguing the crowd from the church 
steps or gate. 

Written in the vernacular, with only the stage 
directions in Latin; spoken rather than sung, with a 
definite attempt on the part of the author to depict 
character in his dialogue, and played outside of the 
church these are the points about the drama most 
important in this transitional period, especially as il- 
lustrated by the play of Adam transitional, because 
as yet fresh from the Church, it retains some of the 
religious atmosphere. 

The Adam play is the product of the cyclic devel- 
opment showing in crystallization what, step by 
step, the German plays better exemplify. The Re- 
surrection (Xllth century) is a fragment, but in it 
is found the first example of a play entirely spoken 
rather than intoned. Both of the plays are French, 
and are in part still semi-liturgical, for they were 
represented within the shadow of the church edifice, 
the actors in many cases coming from the church 
into the yard. 

The Adam play, represented, in all probability, at 
the feast of Christmas, begins with the scenic back- 
ground of a terrestrial paradise, built upon a scaf- 
fold to the right of the church and to the left of 
the spectators, and reached by ladders. The plat- 
form was spacious, surrounded by curtains and silken 
hangings, so arranged as to conceal all but the heads 
and shoulders of those who were in paradise. Trees, 
laden with fruits, leaves, and flowers, pictured a gar- 
den of " marvelous beauty," in the midst of which 
a great tree, the acme of medieval art, was placed 


with a mechanical serpent wound around its trunk. 
To the left of the church and to the right of the 
spectators was hell, with a grilled window and having 
for an entrance the enormous mouth of a dragon, 
which opened and shut mechanically. From the stage 
directions we learn: 

*' The Saviour shall come, clad in the habit of a 
bishop ; before him Adam and Eve. Adam shall be 
dressed in a red tunic, Eve in a white costume for a 
woman, with a silk cloak also of white. Adam shall 
stand nearer to God in an attitude of respectful 
fear, while Eve shall be placed lower. Adam must 
be properly taught when to make his replies, for 
fear of speaking too soon or too late ; not only he 
but all the others should be instructed to speak 
suitably, and to match their gestures to their 
words ; in the recitations they shall neither add nor 
take away a syllable, but needs must pronounce 
clearly, and speak one after the other, following 
the order indicated. Every time any one of them 
mentions Paradise, he shall turn from the side 
where he finds himself, and shall point to it with 
his hands. The play shall begin by reading the 
verses: In principle creavit Deus ccdum et ter- 
ram. . . . After which the choir shall sing: R. 
Formavit igitur Dominus. . . . This done, God 
shall say Adam, and the latter shall reply Sei- 

The Biblical text is adhered to closely. The story 
of Adam and Eve is followed by that of Cain and 


Abel, and the scene with the prophet is reminiscent 
of the Proplietes du Christ. Satan flatters Eve in 
the following figurative way: 

You are such a feeble and tender thing, 
You are as fresh as the rose, 
You are whiter than the crystal, 
Like the snow on the ice in the valley. 
The Creator has mated you badly; 
You are tender, Adam is stern. 
You are so much wiser than he, . . . 
That is why it is good to be near you. 

In the presentation of the Resurrection, the plat- 
form was divided into many stations or fixed posi- 
tions where the actors stood, supposed to be invisible 
during the progress of that part of the action in 
which they had no share. There was a place for the 
Crucifix and one for the tomb; there was a jail for 
the prisoners, and a heaven and a hell. Here stood 
Caiaphas, there Pilate; on one side the disciples, on 
the other side the three Marys. Galilee was in the 
middle of the platform. It is to be noted that in 
England there were often required several pageant 
wagons for a single play, each one fulfilling the 
same object as the so-called station. 

The plot of the drama unfolds, and the climax is 
reached in the scene with Joseph and Nicodemus be- 
fore the Cross. Nicodemus, taking his tools, bemoans 
the fact that the Jews, his own people, should have 
aided in the Crucifixion ; Joseph says to him : " Go 
first to the feet." To which Nicodemus rejoins: 


" Willingly, sir, and most carefully." Again Joseph 
speaks: "Climb to the hands and remove the nails." 
And Nicodemus replies : " Sir, I shall certainly re- 
move both of them." This done, Nicodemus says to 
Joseph, who holds the body, " Take it gently in your 
arms." " That is what I am doing," he says, and 
together they descend from the Cross, and call for 
the ointments which their servants bring. The play 
ends with the scene preceding the realization of the 

In Adam not only are the stage directions written 
in Latin, but also the verses introducing each proph- 
ecy. While the representation was given in the 
churchyard, God, the sacred character in the action, 
came from the church. The people still considered 
the church, as M. Sepet has said, consecrated to re- 
ligion as the terrestrial image of a celestial region. 
The play must be regarded as the product of a con- 
sistent development, constructed by an unknown au- 
thor, probably an ecclesiastic ; written in pure Nor- 
man dialect, and acted somewhere in the neighbor- 
hood of Caen, or Rouen, or Bayeux by an organiza- 
tion called the puy. s 

Adam is the result of the union of three pieces. 
It is evolved from the Prophet play, since Adam was 
considered a prophet. His sin was looked upon as 
a necessary event preceding the birth of Jesus, and 
God expressed as much when turning Adam out of 
paradise. Abel likewise symbolized the Redeemer. 
It is thus natural that Eve and Cain should be in- 
cluded by the medievals as among the prophets. 
Having then these four in the procession of the 


prophets, the next step was the development, in 
length, of the several prophecies and the gradual 
assertion of the details in each, terminating in a 
separation of the two groups into two distinct plays. 
But as we have seen in our study of the cyclic devel- 
opment of the Christmas and Easter plays, borrow- 
ing was a favorite practice among clerical dramatists, 
and soon the author of Adam, finding material al- 
ready at hand, fused the Adam and Cain and Prophet 
plays into one, and added thereto his individual 

It is probable that the Adam play is the product, 
therefore, of four distinct moves, which M. Sepet 
(Les Proph. du Christ) , groups as follows: 

1. Adam and Abel are introduced into the Pro- 
phetes du Christ. 

2. Their roles increase, becoming two small scenes 
analogous to those of Nebuchadnezzar and Balaam. 

8. These scenes increase and separate, forming 
two distinct dramas. 

4. Then these two dramas, still more developed, 
are placed side by side, the scene of the prophets be- 
ing added. 

5. In turn the Adam play becomes the germ of a 
greater Mystery of the XVth century. 

Outside of the church the drama still clung to 
Biblical subjects, and was followed by the choir, 
which remained for some time an essential feature. 
Sepet says, however, it is easily seen that " the actor 
is able to move freely in the framework " and to pro- 
duce the play, not only as an officiant, but as a true 


artist. Nevertheless he adds that the actors of the 
Adam play " appear still singularly rigid, singularly 
dominated by the exigencies of the liturgy, if com- 
pared with the actors of Shakespeare's time, or even 
with those of the large Mysteries of the XVth and 
XVIth centuries." 

A greater departure from the liturgical drama is 
further seen in the Resurrection play. Notwithstand- 
ing that it is a fragment of only 366 verses, it shows 
a more pronounced development in design and char- 
acter sketching ; the Latin, likewise, has entirely dis- 
appeared, save in the names of the characters. It 
reveals an evident aim at realism, at portraying 
sacred subjects not simply for the religious story's 
sake, but because of an undisguised interest in the 
characters themselves. The play begins with the 
words, Let us recite, and inasmuch as the action is 
told in the directions, it might be inferred that it 
was recited or read, rather than represented. 

Adam and the Resurrection are typical in their 
religious content of the plays of the earlier centuries. 
But a certain change in spirit, furthered by the ad- 
dition of purely dramatic outward details, marks 
them as of the transition period. The two manu- 
scripts contain thorough directions for acting, as 
thorough as those declaimed by Hamlet to the play- 
ers ; everywhere there is evidence of the fact that the 
writer was striving for artistic effect. To the church 
building, that had once been sufficient as scenic back- 
ground, were added mechanical contrivances, which 
were used primarily for theatrical purpose: to make 
the progress of a Biblical story realistic, more life- 


like. Coming from the church, the actors brought 
with them the costumes of the holy celebrants, which 
rapidly assumed a mixed character, due to the in- 
fluence of other than the religious spirit. It is true 
that the vital religious incidents in the plays retained 
their serious character even after the drama had 
passed entirely from Church control. Not one touch 
of humor can be found in the Resurrection centering 
about the Crucifixion; but in Adam, freed from re- 
ligious restraint and dogmatic reserve, the touch of 
the dramatist became bolder. The art side of the 
Resurrection is nevertheless apparent in the uncon- 
scious childlike realism of the Cross scene; while in 
the Adam play there is evident the hand of a play- 
wright who knows much of human character, and aims 
to portray it. No more natural, no more crafty scene, 
is to be met with than that in which Satan obtains 
control over Eve ; nothing more human can be found 
than the rapid dialogue between Cain and Abel, in 
which the latter hears of his approaching death. In 
the mortification of Adam, in the humiliation of Eve 
after the Fall, there is no mere paraphrasing of the 
Biblical text. There is creative force that knows the 
value of human emotion, that realizes a situation 
where art can be made effective. 

The plays reveal a double picture : the one, a spec- 
tacular scene from the Bible; the other, a reflex of 
the life of the people themselves. The effort to amuse 
is a conscious one, and it was by dramatic means that 
such effect was accomplished. The followers of Sa- 
tan, the demons with their outward antics, satisfied 
the coarse and awed the timid. Coming forth when 


Eve wavers before the forbidden apple, they rush 
among the people, finally arriving at Eve's side and 
yelling into her ear, " eat, eat." The popularity of 
Satan and his confreres is evident by the frequent 
use made of them. Adam and Eve are both dragged 
in chains to hell; Cain and Abel are likewise taken 
and after each prophecy, the prophets meet with the 
same fate. As the demons have no set speeches in 
the plays, their random gestures and their roars must 
have appealed to the audiences. Hell itself was de- 
picted with elaborateness, and with as many realistic 
touches as mechanical ingenuity could supply. 

The transition period, if looked upon as a part of 
a continuous development of the drama, shows all 
the elements of the modern theatre in the germ. Up 
to this time there had been a general evolution 
one stream of the religious drama, wherever the re- 
ligious spirit was to be found. But once beyond the 
transition, once beyond the limitations of an unknown 
tongue, the stream took many courses which devel- 
oped separately. The nations with the greatest 
power of assimilation, with the most vigorous ca- 
pacity for growth, became the most important centres 
for the new dramatic spirit. The exact time when the 
national lines were drawn is impossible to state. The 
drama's growth was a continuous unfolding, the 
plays of England, France, and Germany becoming 
distinct just as soon as the dramatist became an 
individual in the general social life, rather than a 
mere factor in the life of the Church. The introduc- 
tion of the several languages would in itself have 
been sufficient to cause a separate development of 


the drama in the different countries, for language 
was one of the most important of national charac- 
teristics. England, France, and Germany 4 each had 
its period of transition, in which a drama was slowly 
created for the people, and became a part of the local 
life. The ecclesiastic could not be a dramatist so 
long as the religious spirit restricted him, but as 
soon as the plays were taken into the free atmosphere 
of the world, the dramatist grew in strength and his 
genius became more dominantly dramatic. 

The effect of this transition period was therefore 
to emphasize the characteristics due to this national 
feeling. As long as the dominant note in the existing 
life was spiritual, so long did the drama remain within 
the church, with an appeal far above the heads of 
the average, save for the pantomime introduced. This 
was the common lot of the beginnings of the drama 
in England, France, and Germany the three started 
from the same point in the development, and as the 
years progressed they diverged into three national 
branches, each with separate characteristics due to 
environment, language, and all elements that give the 
individual stamp to a nationality. But this change 
was not due to any marked revulsion from the spirit 
of the early drama. 

Within the free atmosphere of an awakening hu- 
manity, the drama broadened and began to show 
something of a more personal nature. In France, 
during the XHIth century, two plays may be fixed 
as to authorship ; but to offset these, there are forty 
Miracles which are subject to conjecture as to com- 
position. Jehan Bodel and Rutebeuf both lived dur- 


ing the reign of Saint Louis (1226-1276) and from 
autobiographic data we learn that Bodel had leprosy, 
which cut him off from society, while Rutebeuf, a 
veritable Villon before Villon's time, courted favor, 
was extravagant, and loved good cheer. Bodel's St. 
Nicholas and Rutebeuf's Theophile 6 are valued for 
their local touches rather than for their art work- 
manship ; the latter shows no dramatic strength, but 
contains the Xlllth century spirit and that element 
dominating nearly all of the French plays of the 
period namely, " the intervention of heaven and hell 
in the destiny of a human creature." This is also the 
particular note throughout the forty Miracles de 

Bodel's St. Nicholas, based on the popular legend 
of the thieves and the treasure hidden in a figure of 
the saint, is much more pretentious than Rutebeuf's 
dramatic attempt, and abounds in local color. The 
author exhibits his skill in a tavern scene where the 
robbers form their plot, and his situations are varied. 
The Miracles de Notre-Dame were in all probability 
presented or written about the middle of the XlVth 
century, occupying thus a position on the threshold 
of the medieval drama at its height. And these plays 
show a firmer treatment than either the plays of 
Bodel or Rutebeuf a bolder design, a surer dramatic 
hand, a more psychological analysis ; their presenta- 
tion is a matter of conjecture, but it is safe to say 
that they were fostered by one of the numerous puys 
of the time. 

The separation into distinct national dramas makes 


it evident that, in the limits of an Introduction, some 
proscription must be made. In France 
ENGLAND, and Germany the material for the student 
is rich and varied; in England the dra- 
matic art at its height is best typified in the cycles, 
mention of which is now to be made. 

It must be understood that the English develop- 
ment went through the same phases as have just been 
traced. Individual activity here began at a time when 
France had passed through its strictly clerical period 
of drama, and when the infusion of Norman blood 
immediately after the Conquest, encouraged among 
the English people a pronounced encroachment of 
the Norman tongue. The history of the English 
language shows the struggle between the two for 

The religious dramas of France were undoubtedly 
an influence in the history of the English drama, but 
it is sufficient to note that notwithstanding all their 
national characteristics, the general trend of devel- 
opment in the different countries was the same. 

One of the earliest plays on English soil is of the 
Xllth century, the Ludus de S. Katharina, played 
at Dunstable, and probably written in French. It 
was presented by the pupils of Geoffrey, Abbot of 
St. Albans. Furthermore, three Latin plays by Hi- 
larius (circa 1125), dealing with the story of Daniel, 
the Raising of Lazarus, and the Miracles of St. 
Nicholas, were presented in the first half of the Xllth 
century. Of London Miracles (circa 1170-1182), 
William Fitzstej)hens wrote : 


" It [London] has entertainments of a more de- 
vout kind, either representations of those Miracles 
which were wrought by holy confessors, or those 
passions and sufferings in which the martyrs so 
rigidly displayed their fortitude." 

By the time of Chaucer, the Mystery play, with 
its pageant in the open, was well established, and 
formed a most important part in the rise of munici- 
pal life. The growth of the great cycles was, in 
fact, coincident with the growth of cities. 

The Mysteries of the XlVth and XVth centuries, 
no longer controlled by the clergy, were supported 
by the gilds of England and the puys and confreries 
of France. Each gild had a patron saint, whose day 
was observed, and as time went on, rivalry grew 
among the organizations as to the superior merits 
of the presentations, resulting thereby in remarkable 
pageants and wonderful artistic ambitions. If there 
were nothing more in the Mystery plays than mere 
interest in local atmosphere, rather than in the work- 
manship of the playwright, we could not help but 
admire the stupendous effort of these medieval arti- 
sans to present graphically and appropriately the 
story of the Bible. The whole sweep of events in the 
Great Book was not too much for presentation, even 
though it took many days. These were the times for 
the cycles of thousands of verses. France treasures 
for the zealous student more than one million lines. 
The Mysore du Vieil Testament, a combination of 
six Mysteries, is told in fifty thousand verses. Noth- 
ing seemed to daunt the dramatist; he dealt with 


largeness everywhere ; the centre of action was at any 
place; the extent of time was from the creation of 
the world to the judgment. 

The development of the gilds is in itself a study of 
great interest and importance. The rise of the 
cities was fostered by the mercantile or commercial 
spirit, which prompted the union of interests to pro- 
tect trade. But the Gild Merchant, the history of 
which is ably set forth by Mr. Charles Gross in his 
The Gild Merchant, was so conservative as to hinder 
the free progress of trade, and by its very nature 
became a monopolist of the most oppressive kind. 
In the XlVth century, the non-gildsman was prac- 
tically debarred from earning a livelihood ; foreign- 
ers, entering a city, were subject to the most 
scrutinizing regulations, except on Fair days, when 
the restrictions were removed. A reference to the 
Gild Merchant is found as early as 1087 and by the 
Xlllth century, at least one-third of the boroughs 
throughout England could boast of such organiza- 
tions. The spirit of the gild is well shown by a grant 
from Edward I., dated 1296, to such a body in 
Chester. It reads in part: 

" No one who is not sworn and admitted into the 
aforesaid gild can merchandise in the said town 
without the license and consent of the said bur- 

The craft gilds T were a later development than the 
Gild Merchant, and while an artisan always had the 
opportunity of becoming a master, the craft was not 
endowed with all of the important privileges pos- 


sessed by the Gild Merchant. This union of the 
workers of one trade had economic results that were 
far-reaching, since the desire was to make the very 
best product, and since the supervision of the work 
was most rigid and adhered to a high standard of 
excellence. The members of the Gild Merchant, as 
time went on, rapidly assumed important positions 
in municipal life; the craft gilds, being more repre- 
sentative of the working people, exerted more influ- 
ence upon the local town life ; the two, however, were 
alike subject to royal decree and to general municipal 

In those days religious fervor never lost entire 
control over daily life, and it is easy to imagine how 
the gilds formed the idea of presenting the Mys- 
teries. The plays, before they were actually mounted 
by the gilds, were thoroughly familiar to the people 
in subject matter. So that on festival-days, especially 
on the days of patron saints, the gilds gradually took 
it upon themselves each to present a portion of the 
Bible story, an incentive to do so having already been 
found, on the one hand, in the existing dramas which 
served as models, and, on the other, in the extensive 
development of magnificent processions, encouraged 
by royalty and by the body ecclesiastical. 

Royal entries into cities imposed upon such cities 
the obligation of entertainment and welcome. Among 
the many entries, the following may be mentioned : 

1293 Welcome to Edward I. upon his return from 
Scotland. London gilds marched in a pro- 


cession with what appear to have been 
moving pageants indicative of trade. 

1313 Mute play of the history of Jesus Christ 
from Nativity to Passion, performed at 
Paris, before Edward II. and his wife. 

1420 Dec. 1 Entry of Charles VI. and Henry 
V. into Paris; mute Mystery, with sta- 
tionary pageants representing a connected 
story, the Passion of Our Saviour. 

1430 Entry of Henry VI. into London; station- 
ary pageants; verses and some speaking. 

The establishment of the Corpus Christi festival, 
by Pope Urban IV. (circa 1264), resulted a century 
later in the founding of gilds under that name. 
The Fraternity of Corpus Christi of the Skinners 
of London dates from 1327. Mr. Charles Davidson 
(Eng. Myst. Plays) quotes as follows from the Sur- 
vey of London: 

" This fraternity had also once every year, on 
Corpus Christi day afternoon, a procession which 
passed through the principal streets of the city, 
wherein were borne more than one hundred torches 
of wax (costly garnished) burning light, and 
above two hundred clerks and priests, in surplices 
and capes, singing. After the which were the 
sheriff's servants, the clerks of the compters, 
chaplains for the sheriffs, the mayor's sergeants, 
the counsel of the city, the mayor and aldermen in 
scarlet, and then the Skinners in their best liveries." 

As the interest in these presentations increased, the 


gilds assessed their members more and more, in order 
to defray expenses, and later on the municipal au- 
thorities themselves fined the gilds for failure to pre- 
sent their pageants properly. 

A discussion of the English Mysteries necessitates 
an explanation of the terms Mystery and Miracle. 
The Mysteries were all narratives based on the Gos- 
pels, " their object," says A. W. Ward, (Eng. Dram. 
Lit.) "being primarily to set forth, by an illustra- 
tion of the prophetic history of the Old Testament, 
and more particularly of the fulfilling of the New, 
the central mystery of the Redemption of the world, 
as accomplished by the Nativity, the Passion, and 
the Resurrection." The Miracles, on the other hand, 
deal only with legends of the saints ; no better ex- 
amples of such can be found than the Miracles de 
Notre-Dame, already mentioned. 

The progress of the name in France is thus out- 
lined by Petit de Julleville (Hist. Theat. en Fr: Les 
Mysteres} : 

Xllth century the liturgical dramas were called 
ludi, representations, histories reprcesentandce. The 
Adam drama was designated representation. 

Xlllth century Bodel's St. Nicholas called jeu; 
Rutebeufs play, however, called a Miracle. 

XlVth century dramas called Miracles. 

It is interesting to note that before the XVth cen- 
tury the word Mystere was not used in France. In 
1402 Charles VI. founded the Confrerie de la Pas- 
sion, and used the term in connection with them. 

In examining a series of plays that form each a 
part of the same development, and, written prac- 


tically with the same object in view, cover the same 
ground in content, one must expect to find similari- 
ties, and both conscious and unconscious imitation on 
the part of the playwrights. 

Of the manuscripts that have come down to us, the 
greatest interest centres about the cycles of York, 
Towneley, Chester, and Coventry; but within the 
limits here prescribed it is best to take whatever will 
give the most satisfactory picture of the scope and 
presentation of the Mystery at its height.* 

The York manuscript that is now available bears 
the probable date of transcribing, circa 1430-1440, 
and contains forty-eight dramas ; the Towneley plays, 
in a manuscript likewise of the XVth century, are 
thirty-two in number; the Chester manuscript dates 
from 1591f-1607 and numbers twenty-five plays: 
while the Coventry plays, forty-two in all, are dated 
in manuscript circa 1468. These dates are most 
likely many years after the actual first presentation, 
but they serve the purpose of establishing some defi- 
nite period, yielding as the limits may be. 

Of these cycles only one bears any indication of 
probable authorship. While the composition of the 
Towneley plays has been traced to the cell of the 
Augustinian or Black Canons at Woodkirk, and 
while the Coventry Mysteries have been attributed to 
the Grey Friars of Coventry, in the Chester cycle 

* Vide Chambers, II., 407, Appendix X. 

f- Schelling dates 1475. These indications vary with different 
authorities. The Chester Manuscript bears interesting com- 
parison with the French Myter du Vieil Testament: Cham- 
bers, II, 409; Gayley, Forefathers, 128 teq. 


there has been much discussion as to whether or not 
the author was one " Randall Higgenett, a monk of 
Chester abbey." There is slight evidence, however, 
to support his claim. 

It will be seen that despite the national character- 
istics infused into the drama, the playwrights still re- 
mained in touch with the Church, and continued to 
trace, however freely, the same stories that formed 
the basis of the religious drama at its beginning. 
While we have a present-day drama, directly evolved 
from the XVth century development, it was not the 
whole stream of dramatic art that turned into the 
channels which were to give us Shakespeare; there 
came a period when there were two streams running 
side by side the modern drama as we know it, and 
the religious drama that still continued its course for 
some time before its decline. But there is no question 
that these monks, these playwrights, now handled 
material for effect; they had the sense of the artist, 
and though they borrowed, in many cases they im- 
proved upon the original; though in other instances 
there was a sad falling-off in workmanship. 

Much profit may be obtained in studying a com- 
parative table of the four cycles, which is printed in 
Miss L. Toulmin Smith's edition of the York Mys- 
teries. 8 At a glance we see the vast scope of this 
panoramic progress of Bible story, strangely inter- 
mingled with local color and local allusions. Some- 
times we find an amalgamation of several plays into 
one pageant, and we infer by this that a gild, failing 
to furnish its quota, had its pageant privileges an- 
nulled and its play transferred to another gild that 


could well afford to present two pieces. Miss Smith 
writes : 

" As business grew, a new craft would spring 
up, an old one decay and become too poor to pro- 
duce its play ; a new one must take its share ; one 
craft trenching on the trade of another must 
share its burdens; sometimes two or even three 
plays would be combined into one; sometimes a 
play would be laid aside, and the craft to which 
it had been assigned must join in producing 
some other." 

In Coventry, under date 1494, " it is therefore or- 
dained that the Mayor, and 8 of his councel shall 
have authority to join all such Crafts to those that 
are overburthened with the said Pageants, with power 
to levey penalties in case of refusal." In Coventry, 
in 1523, one gild is recorded as offering aid to an- 
other in presenting a pageant. 

However these plays may have been divided origi- 
nally, the ones extant show clearly that the idea of 
the dramatist was to produce something that would 
be actable. And there was art in his execution ; no- 
where do we see such variety of poetic form, where 
lines and rime schemes vie with each other and are 
consciously introduced in order to gain particular 
effect. And though the medieval dramatist was still 
a monk, oftentimes he foreshadowed Shakespeare in 
his wonderful intermingling of the tragic and the 
humorous ; not so subtle, nor so fine, perhaps, but 
used in a way to reveal a due sense of proportion. 


These English cycles show that in many of the 
plays scenes were taken bodily from elsewhere, and 
were retouched by a newer hand. Miss Smith, with 
several of her York plays, prints the Towneley texts 
covering the same subjects, and even a cursory ex- 
amination reveals convincing similarities. Mr. A. 
W. Pollard in his edition of the Towneley Mysteries 
also calls attention to this relation existing between 
five plays, where the York manuscript served as foun- 
dation for the Towneley. For example, in The De- 
parture of the Israelites from Egypt [Y. XI; T. 
XIII, Pharaoh] the connection between both cycles 
is striking: 


Pharao. Peas, of payn that no man pas, 

But kepe the course that I commaunde, 
And take good hede of hym that has 

Youre helthe alle holy in hys hande; 
For kyng Pharro my fader was, 

And led thys lordshyp of thys land; 
I am hys hayre as age wylle has, 

Euer in stede to styr or stand. 


1 Rex. O pees, I bidde that noman passe, 

But kepe the cours that I commaunde, 
And take gud heede to hym that hasse 

Youre liff all haly in his hande. 
Kyng Pharo my fadir was, 

And led the lordshippe of this lande, 
I am hys hayre as elde will asse, 

Euere in his steede to styrre and stande. 


Again : 


Primus Miles. A, my lord ! 

Pharao. haghe ! 

Secundus Miles. Grete pestelence is comyn ; 

It is like ful long to last. 
Pharao. In the dwilys name! 

Then is oure pride ouer past. 


1 Egip. My lorde, grete pestelence 

Is like ful lange to last. 
Rex. Owe! come that in oure presence? 

Than is oure pride al past. 

This comparison is further illustrated by The Har- 
rowing of Hell, which is imbedded in the Resurrec- 
tion of the Coventry cycle. Turning to the Chester 
plays, evidence of similarity with the Towneley manu- 
script is likewise illustrated by Mr. Pollard in the 
following : 


Erthly man, that I haue wroght, 

Wightly wake, and slepe thou noght! 
With bytter bayll I haue the boght, 

To make the fre; 
Into this dongeon depe I soght 
And all for luf of the. 


Eirthly man that I have wroughte, 
Awake out of thy slepe; 


Earthly man, that I haue wroght, 

Of me thou have no kepe. 
From heaven man's soule I soughte 

Into a dongion depe 
My dere lemon from thense I broughte 

For ruthe of her I weepe. 

Thomas Wright, editor of the Chester cycle, sup- 
ports Collier (Hist. Eng. Dram. Poet.), who calls 
attention to a partial resemblance between the Ches- 
ter plays and the French Mysteries. The two French 
pieces mentioned as typical examples of the transi- 
tion period have their counterpart in The Creation 
(T.I.) [Adam] and The Crucifixion (T. XXIII) 
[Resurrection]. A glimpse into this comparative 
work will justify the assertion that individual- 
ity to the XVth century playwright meant the 
individual stamp on all material whether old or new, 
rather than the creation each time of new plots 
and new situations. It likewise shows that, from the 
constructive side, one may trace, in the partiality to 
particular metres, the hand of the individual crafts- 
man through many plays, and Mr. Pollard has 
applied this analysis in the case of what he calls the 
" one real genius " of the Towneley cycle. 

M. de Julleville in his illuminating work on Les 
Mysteres, in dealing with the characteristics of the 
French plays, writes that the authors probably real- 
ized the profound unity of their subject, and some- 
times were successful in sustaining it ; but under the 
multiplicity of details more often was the unity lost, 
and for this reason it was easier for the later dra- 


matic tinker to amalgamate plays into immense cycles. 
Wherever the dramatist could, he introduced his local 
studies and gave to them his own individual touch; 
for, as the same writer says, the medieval public en- 
joyed tracing in the characters before them the 
language, habits, and sentiments of their neigh- 
bors. The tragic, pathetic, idyllic, comic, realistic, 
and satiric spoken of by John Addington Symonds 
(Shakespeare's Predeces. in Eng. Dram.) are all im- 
portant elements in the Mysteries; the dramatist 
becomes human in a free atmosphere. 

One has but to read the dialogue that passes be- 
tween Abraham and Isaac to understand the effect 
it must have had upon a medieval audience, witnessing 
a father about to slay his son. Note this from the 
Chester manuscript (7F. The Sacrifice of Isaac) : 

Abraham. O! comelye creature, but I thee kille, 
I greve my God, and that full ylle; 
I maye not worke againste his will, 

But ever obediente be. 
O! Isaake, sonne, to thee I saie, 
God hath commaunded me to daye 
Sacrifice, this is no naye, 

To make of thy bodye. 

Isaake. Is yt Godes will I shalbe slayne? 
Abraham. Yea, sonne, it is not for to leane; 
To his byddinge I wilbe bayne, 

And ever to hym pleasinge. 
But that I do this dilfull deede, 
My Lorde will not quite me in my nede. 
Isaake. Marye, father, God forbydde. 


But you doe your offeringe! 
Father, at home your sonnes you shall fynde, 
That you must love by course of kinde : 
Be I onste out of your mynde, 

Your sorowe male sone cease; 
But yet you muste do Godes byddinge. 
Father, tell my mother for no thinge. 

Here we find the Bible situation, embellished with 
that simplicity which is art because it is simple. The 
pathos increases in the scene preceding the one where 
the angel stays the hand of Abraham : 

Abraham. Fare well, my sweete sonne of grace! 

Here let Isaake kneele downe and speake. 
Isaake. I praye you, father, torne downe my face 
A littill, while you have space, 

For I am full sore adreade. 
Abraham. To doe this deed I am sorye. 
Isaake. Yea, Lorde, to thee I call and crye, 
Of my soule thou have mercye, 
Hartelye I thee praie! 

Isaake. A ! mercye, father, why tarye you soe? 
Smyte of my head, and let me goe. 
I praye you rydd me of my woe, 

For nowe I take my leve. 

Abraham. Ah, sonne ! my harte will breake in three, 
To heare thee speake such wordes to me. 
Jesu! on me thou have pittye, 
That I have moste in mynde. 


We can further imagine the enjoyment of that hu- 
mor which smacked of village gossip in such scenes as 
the one in which Noah, just before the flood, tries to 
get his wife on board the, Ark. She refuses to stir 
unless her companions may come with her. Our read- 
ing is from Chester III., Noah's Flood: 

Noye. Good wyffe, doe nowe as I thee bydde. 

Noyes Wiffe. Be Christe ! not or I see more neede, 
Though thou stande all daye and stare. 

Noah apostrophizes on the ways of women; the 
medieval dramatists take especial delight in depict- 
ing for the benefit of young men the direful results of 
married life. Noah calls aloud : 

For all the wene that thou arte maister, 
And soe thou arte, by Sante John ! 

Then after discussing the ways and means of get- 
ting her aboard, the family group decide to use force : 

Noye. Come in, wiffe, in twentye devilles waye ! 

Or elles stand there without. 
Cam. Shall we all feche her in? 
Noye. Yea, sonnes, in Christe blessinge and myne! 
I woulde you hied you betyme, 

For of this flude I am in doubte. 
. . . . 

Jeffatte. Mother, we praye you all together, 

For we are heare, youer owne childer, 
Come into the shippe for feare of the 


For his love that you boughtc ! 
Noyes Wiffe. That will I not, for all youer call. 

But I have my gossippes all. 
Sem. In faith, mother, yett you shalle, 

Wheither thou wylte or note [not] . 
Noye. Welckome, wiffe, into this botte. 
Noyes Wiffe. Have thou that for thy note ! 
Noye. Ha ! ha ! marye, this is hotte ! 

The realism that marks the French play of the 
Resurrection of the XHIth century is repeated with 
great similarity in The Crucifixion of the Towneley 
cycle, (XXIII) where Longeus pierces Jesus with 
his knight's spear, and also where Joseph and Nico- 
demus take the body from the Cross : 

Joseph. Nychodeme, com me furthe withe, 
ffor I myself shallebe the smythe 
The nales out for to dray. 

The strange introduction of a humor that is coarse 
and cruel, yet probably characteristically local and 
realistic, if it were possible to forget that it was 
spoken during the Crucifixion, is found in the scene 
with Christ's torturers, who fight over their share in 
the work. In that same play there is the scene with 
John and Mary before the Cross, where the uncon- 
trollable grief of the mother for her " swete son " re- 
minds one forcibly of the German Marieriklagen of 
the latter part of the XHIth century. Here the uni- 
versal human asserts itself over the religious signifi- 
cance; the human mother cries aloud with a human 


grief, and the medieval audiences shed tears in sym- 
pathy : 

ffestynd both handys and feete 
with nalys fulle unmete, 
his woundes wryngyng wete, 
Alas, my childe, for care ! 

A student of these Mysteries will find them any- 
thing but dull reading. They are full of a surpris- 
ing freshness that blossoms forth when least ex- 
pected. There is no more delightful dialogue than 
that found in the Towneley play of The Shepherds 
(XII [2], XIII [2]), where the atmosphere is as 
complete, according to our views, as any modern 
dramatist could have made it. These Mysteries and 
Miracles afford us a rich field for watching the per- 
sonality assert itself, irrespective of any religious 

One finds the village boy as menial to Cain; one 
notes God vowing " in the name of the holy gast " ; 
the medieval dramatist did not care for accuracies, 
and he sought effect through means close to hand and 
familiar to his time. Considering the Towneley plays 
alone, a few local allusions are found in the following : 

In The Prophets (T. VII), David says, " Shalle I 
now syng you a fytt, Withe my mynstrelsy " ; on 
coming out of the Ark (T. Ill), Noah discovers 
castles and towns swept away; the Shepherds, on 
hearing the angel's song announcing the birth, try to 
imitate it (T. XII) : 

ijus pastor. Now, by god that me boght | it was a 
mery song; 


I dar say that he broght | foure & 
twenty to a long. 

And when the Child is seen, the Shepherds greet him 
as Duke and Knight. One speech in the second Shep- 
herd's play is a dissertation on the Shepherd's lot 
" no wonder that [they] are poor, they are so op- 
pressed by the gentle folk." There are also seen 
the elements of a -farce in the character Mak, who 
steals a sheep from the Shepherds.* Christ is called 
King of " towne and towre " and Herod wonders 
"who the dewill made hym Knyght." Truly the 
dramatist was a representative of his time, and no 
richer picture could be drawn than from these stray 
passages that reveal all but the sweep of life itself, 
the whole husk with a goodly part of the spirit in it. 

The early Church Fathers sought to give the con- 
gregation a picture, and the later drama retained 
this idea; it was a panorama, to be unfolded in a 
public square, and to be spoken by actors who were 
paid for their services. It has been said that to the 
XVth century audience the Ark was as real as are the 
caravels of Columbus to us of the present time. The 
theory that drama is a reflex of life is well sup- 
ported by the fact that the atmosphere of a life over 
four hundred years ago is still mirrored in the words 
that brought forth actual tears and laughter from 
the motley medieval crowd. 

The presentation of the English Mysteries can 
only be pictured by taking here and there whatever 
presents itself, and piecing together so as to gain 

* This is one of the first examples of a farce in early Eng- 
lish literature. 


effect. Much in these plays was left to the imagina- 
tion of the spectators, the merest suggestion cover- 
ing an entire scene. The word pageant, which in the 
Coventry manuscript has been spelt in about twenty- 
three different ways, was applied to the structure 
which moved from street to street, as well as to the 
play itself. Archdeacon Rogers (d. 1595), who wit- 
nessed a play at Chester, thus describes a pageant: 

" The maner of these plays weare, every com- 
pany had his paigant, or p'te, w ch paigants weare 
a high scafolde w'th 2 rowmes, a higher and lower, 
upon 4 wheeles. In the lower they apparrelled 
themselves, and in the higher rowme they played, 
beinge all open on the tope, that all behoulders 
might heare and see them. The places where they 
played them were in every streete. They began 
at the Abay gates, and when the first paigante 
was played, it was wheeled to the highe crosse be- 
for the Mayor, and so to every streete, and soe 
every streete had a paigant playinge before them 
at one time, till all the paigantes for the day ap- 
poynted was neere ended, worde was broughte 
from streete to streete that soe they mighte come 
in place thereof, exceedinge orderlye, and all the 
streetes have their paigantes afore them all at 
one time playeinge togeather; to se w'ch playes 
was great resorte, and also scafoldes and stages 
made in the streetes in those places where they 
determined to playe theire paigantes." 

The following item of expense in the Coventry rec- 
ords is of interest : 


1450 Spend to bryng the pagent in to gosford 
stret v d 

The gilds of the Cappers and the Drapers each 
employed twenty men to drag their pageants, which 
have been compared with the floats used annually dur- 
ing the New Orleans Mardi Gras festivities. Some 
accounts show that to accommodate spectators at 
Coventry and Chester, stages upon wheels were 
pulled near the pageant for special benefit and better 

The French mansions or stations were large enough 
to show much detail. At Valenciennes, in 1547, a 
row 1 of columns supported Paradise ; Nazareth was a 
wall pierced by a door between two Doric pillars; 
Jerusalem was shown in the same way. A pavilion, 
with columns, a throne, and the figure of a King, 
represented the palace, while a square basin holding 
water was the sea. So simple were these details and 
yet withal so necessary to correct understanding !* 

The actors in England were usually members of 
the gilds ; clerics in lower orders of the Church some- 
times participated. It is curious to notice how the 
roles in the Biblical story were apportioned accord- 
ing to a peculiar harmony existing between the part 
itself and the trade of the individual. In the time 
of the Mayoralty of William Alne, of York, in the 
third year of the reign of Henry V., 1415, according 
to a list compiled by the town clerk, one Roger Bur- 
ton (the list is quoted in Miss Smith's York Myster- 

*An excellent cut of this is reproduced in Gayley, Fore- 
fathers, op. p. 216. 


ies), the Plasterers were assigned the Creation of 
the World, the Shipwrights were the builders of the 
Ark, the Chandlers were the Shepherds who carried 
the Star, and further down the list we find the 
butchers assisting in the Crucifixion. 

The actor's art has now become a paying one. Does 
not God receive ij 8 and Pilate receive 4 d for playing 
each his part? 

Again we note "It* payd to God, xx a ;" "If 
payed to the mynstrells ; " and " It' paide to the 
sprytt of god. . . xvj d ." More often do we hear in 
the Coventry records of the feasts of the actor. 
In 1490: 

Itm for IX galons of Ale xviij d 

Itm for a Rybbe of befe & j gose vj d 

Again in another place Pilate is allowed wine while 
performing, and the pageant drivers are given drink 
to cheer them on the road. 

In the Xlllth and XlVth centuries the French 
actors were furnished by the puys and later by the 
confreries. Before the XVth century organized com- 
panies were formed, and those who took part in the 
Mysteries were bound by special contract. A num- 
ber of rehearsals were given before the public per- 
formance. On the appointed day the actors re- 
ported at seven in the morning ; some of the audience 
arrived at four, so eager were they for a good place 
near the pageant wagon. 

There was a so-called cry at one time in France, 
an august person whose object was to beg citizens 


to take part in the coming play, and he went about 
in goodly procession, with trumpeters, archers, sol- 
diers, and heralds. Even though the drama had left 
the Church, priests still took important roles : among 
notices of such we are told that in 1409 and 1437 at 
Metz, a priest and two curates acted the parts of 
Christ, St. John and Judas. Women figured very 
rarely in the English and French presentations. 
Before 1550 France had but three exceptions, one 
in especial being in 1468, when a girl of eighteen 
appeared as St. Catherine (2,300 verses) and was 
so appealing in her tender beauty as to make a 
young nobleman fall in love with her and marry her. 

The roles were often long and arduous. Christ, 
in one French play, had to recite 4,000 verses; in 
1437, at Metz, during the Crucifixion scene, both 
Christ and Judas were prostrated on account of the 
continuous emotional strain. The Christus of the 
latest performance of the Oberammergau Passion 
Play (1900) has graphically described his painful 
sensations while on the Cross. 

The costumes used in the early religious dramas 
were nothing more than ecclesiastical robes, and in- 
stances are known, even during the advanced stages 
of the XVth century, of the clergy lending their 
vestments to the gild actors. But oftenest in Eng- 
land the expense of such detail was charged to the 
gild itself, and from the old records one is able to 
gain some definite knowledge of the theatrical ward- 
robe. The Smith's Company of Coventry, in 1449, 
presenting the Trial, Condemnation, and Crucifixion 
of Christ, mentioned among their machinery a Cross 


and ropes with which to draw it up, besides gallows 
and a scaffold; the Cross was often painted in gold. 
Among the dresses we note black buckram hung with 
nails and dice for the tormentors, and a white leather 
coat for God: 

God (Jesus) Coat of skin, sometimes painted 
and gilded. False hair powdered in gold. 

Spirit of God (as distinct from God probably 
the Holy Ghost?) A coat of buckram, very 
likely painted. 

Caiaphas and Annas Robes of Christian Bishops ; 
with hoods (1486) made of red (1487) ; wear- 
ing " myttyr " painted with " gold foyle & 
sylv foyle." 

Herod A mask, painted. Satin and blue " boker- 
am." Sceptre and helmet of gold and silver 

Judas Red hair and beard. 

The Draper's Pageant presenting Doomsday in 
1534 required a barrel for the earthquake, three 
worlds, and " a link to set the world on fire " ; among 
the dresses there were " coats for the black and white 
souls," but no mention is made of the costumes for 
the " two worms of conscience " that figure among 
the characters. 

The stage manager was ingenious in his settings 
and costuming, seeking color and splendor in tinsel, 
such as constitute the modern stage accessories. 
Where his mechanical inventiveness resulted in a real- 
istic hellmouth, his enthusiasm knew no bounds; nor 


did he fail to express his pleasure over the beauty of 
Paradise, such as is described in Adam. " Behold," 
cries the author of a French Passion of 1534, " here 
is the most beautiful Paradise you have ever seen 
or ever will see." 

The hellmouth was a pit and demons vanished 
therein from among the audience, through the me- 
chanical jaws of a wonderfully constructed dragon, 
from whose depths groans and even flames and smoke 
would issue. These latter details were regarded 
as the acme of medieval scenic art- We read that 
at one performance, through carelessness, the " fire- 
works " went off in hellmouth before the appointed 
time, creating consternation among the people. 

All these details appealed to a childlike simplicity 
that explains the thunder by the pushing of a table 
across the floor, and believes the rain comes from a 
watering-pot sprinkling the world. These plays 
were witnessed by royalty, and by all sorts and con- 
ditions of people, even the wanderer along the road- 
way. We see the crowd in Chaucer's Prologue to 
the Canterbury Tales, a crowd well-nigh level as 
regards intellect, if not alike as regards rank, and 
all of them capable of enjoying the same kind of 
amusement. The elements that have thus been de- 
scribed in detail brought this particular drama to its 
height; already, in the cycles, there were beginning 
to be shown signs of generalizing rather than of de- 
fining characters. 

Ward (Eng. Dram. Lit.) claims that while the 
Morality plays are not unconnected with the Miracle 


plays, their origin reaches farther back, even to the 
Biblical abstractions which are in 
THE MORALITY themselves the very foundations of 
AND the Christian worship. " It seems 

EVERYMAN. probable that inasmuch as our lit- 
erature had more distinctly than 
that of almost any other modern nation a specifi- 
cally Christian origin, so it was the Bible itself 
which implanted in the English mind its ineradicable 
love for allegory, and for religious or moral allegory 
in especial." Ten Brink (Hist. Eng. Lit., tr. Rob- 
inson) writes: "The Moral plays owe their origin 
to the same spirit that introduces the so-called alle- 
gorical tendency into religious literature and court 
poetry; viz., to the effort to illustrate moral doc- 
trines and present abstract ideas in bodily form"; 
and further adds : " The Mysteries had undeniably a 
great influence on the formation of the Moral plays." 
Certain it is that even before the definite appear- 
ance of the Moralities* the way was being prepared 
for them, since we meet with abstractions in the great 
cycles just examined ; Veritas, Justicia, Pax, and Mis- 
ericordia appear in the eleventh Coventry play [The 
Salutation and Conception], and Death is introduced 
into the same collection. It is not to be doubted 
that Catholicism and the pending Reformation both 
reached into literature for some existent vehicle to 
carry their polemics, and found none better than 
these Morality plays. 

* Vide Chambers, II, chap, xxiii, p. 149, Bibliographical 
Note; also ibid, Appendix X, p. 436, 


But though religion fell back upon the drama a 
second time for help, it was an ethical and dogmatic 
motive, rather than a religious one, that fostered the 
moral plays ; and, besides, the people were no longer 
so submissive mentally ; they were alive to the value of 
the dramatic impulse, and were thinking for them- 

Mr. Pollard, in his interesting collection of speci- 
mens from the early English drama (Eng. Mir. PL), 
prints some passages from what may be called a 
transitional type, which stands between the definite 
Mystery and Morality, but which includes elements 
characteristic of all three types Mystery, Miracle, 
and Morality. It is entitled S. Mary Magdalene, and 
is preserved in manuscript circa 1480-1490. In part 
it adheres to the story of Mary's fall, and gives the 
scene in which Jesus cleanses her of her sin ; it like- 
wise sounds the note of boasting, characteristic of 
the heathen monarch who, in so many of the plays, 
defies Christianity; therein is it purely Mystery. On 
the other hand, Mary is beset by Flesh, who sends 
Luxuria to tempt her, and lead her before a galaunt, 
and Satan rejoices over her fall; therein is it mark- 
edly a Morality. But in the restoration of the life 
of a Queen and her Child, through the assistance of 
Mary, it is characteristically a Miracle, in the sense 
familiar to the student of the French Miracles de 

A list of Morality plays would include, as among 
the most important, and all of the XVth century: 
The Castell of Perseverance; Mind, Witt, and Under- 
standing; Mankind (Humanum Genus) ; Mundus et 


Infans; The Pride of Life (Fragment) ; Everyman; 
and Nature (by Henry Medwall). Mr. Pollard 
speaks of the didactic Moralities, among which may 
be mentioned the following groups, enumerated by 
Miss Bates : 

(a) Dealing with Temptations of Youth: Hycke- 
Scorner, printed circa 1530 (Interlude). Lusty 
Juventus, 1547-1553. The Interlude of Youth, 

(b) Written in Praise of Learning: The Nature 
of The Four Elements (Interlude), 1510-1570. 
Wyt and Science (by John Redford, circa 1545). 

The very names themselves reveal the character of 
these dramas. Of them all, none would approach in 
completeness and unity of development, the Morality 
play of Everyman. We find abstractions walking 
across the narrow pageants, and rolling forth long 
disquisitions on the evils of life of which they them- 
selves are the symbolical types. Castles are besieged 
by good and by evil angels; Humanum Genus falls 
beneath the wiles of Luxuria in female attire, and is 
saved therefrom by Confession. One of the closing 
scenes in the Castell of Perseverance is that in which 
Humanum Genus (Mankind) is debated over in 
heaven by Mifericordia and Pax, who plead for him, 
and Veritas and Justitia against him, with the final 
salvation of Humanum Genus through the mrcy of 
Pater sedens in trono. The dramatist, with a broad 
sweep similar to that with which the Miracle play- 
wright reviewed the entire Bible history from the 
creation to the judgment, carried man from infancy 


to old age ; brought Folly, Lust, Wantonness before 
him ; had Pity, Misery, Compassion, Repentance, and 
Confession save him, all in the semblance of person- 
alities talking in a manner which the unskilled art of 
the writer could not save from dulness or from 

The Castell of Perseverance (middle of the reign 
of Henry VI) is one of the oldest Moralities extant. 
However, Miss Smith, in the preface to her York 
Mysteries, mentions a play that antedates this one 
considerably. " Once on a time," runs the preamble 
to the ordinances of the Gild of the Lord's Prayer, 
" a play setting forth the goodness of the Lord's 
Prayer was played in the city of York; in which 
play all manner of vices and sins were held up to 
scorn, and the virtues were held up to praise." Miss 
Smith likewise notes that a Creed Play was performed 
in York "about Lammastide every tenth year, and 
five such performances, beginning in 1483,* are re- 
corded." Still another play, the manuscript of 
which is lost, is mentioned as being given at York in 
1558 and 1572. Mr. Pollard writes : " In that year, 
however, Grindal was Archbishop of York, and de- 
manded that a copy of the play should be submitted 
to him. The copy was sent, and its return requested 
three years later, but thenceforward we hear of it 
no more. The loss is irreparable, for this is the 
earliest Morality play of which we have any mention, 
and must have been written nearly a century before 
the Castell of Perseverance." 

* Chambers (II, 120) says, "bequeathed to the gild of 
Corpus Christi in 1446"; see also II, 154, 


The Moralities were used as a mode of expression, 
just as the didactic method distinguished the Socratic 
school. Even as in Everyman, there is detected a 
strong note of Catholicism, so in later plays the cause 
of Protestantism was as strongly argued. Not only 
did obscure writers turn their attention toward this 
form of literary dramatic expression, but acknowl- 
edged poets also, such as John Skelton, with his 
Magnyfycence, adopted it also. The young Shake- 
speare himself became familiar with the later-day 
Moralities, and perhaps gained from them the lesson 
that, after all, drama represents a struggle of soul; 
he realized this when he became the dramatic poet 
and put his vivid figures on the stage, producing in 
them, by the sheer force of his art and craftsmanship 
not so much the struggle of a world-soul as the strug- 
gle of the individual " against a sea of troubles." 

The presentation of the Morality plays was al- 
most similar to that of the Mysteries. Pageants were 
used, except in those cases where the special purpose 
was to entertain a noble company in a banquet-hall. 
Then a short play was selected and a strolling com- 
pany was hired to give it. Over their wine, the 
goodly assemblage applauded the slender cast, and 
because of the fact that these plays were acted dur- 
ing the course of the meal they derived the name, 

In Sharp's book on Coventry [Disser. on the Pag. 
of Cou.], a cut accompanies the manuscript of the 
Castell of Perseverance, representing a castle. The 
following directions which accompany the drawing 
are quoted in Pollard:* 

* Vide Chambers, II, Appendix X, 437. 


is the watyre a bowte the place, if any 
dyche may be mad ther it schal be pleyed ; or ellys 
that it be strongly barryd al a bowte : & lete nowth 
over many stytelerys (marshalmen?) be withinne 
the plase." 

Over the Castle : " This is the castel of persever- 
anse that stondyth in the myddys of the place ; but 
lete no men sytt ther for lettynge of syt, for ther 
schal be the best of al." 

Beneath the Castle is a Bed : " Mankynde is bed 
schal be under the castel, & ther schal the sowle lye 
under the bed tyl he shal ryse & pleye." 

On each side of the Castle : " Coveytyse copbord 
schal be at the ende of the castel, be the beddys 

Five stations for scaffolds are indicated: 
" Sowth, Caro skaffold West, Mundus skaffold 
Northe, Belyal skaffold North East, Coveytyse 
skaffold Est, deus skaffold." ' 

These directions were given to actors : "& he that 
echal pley belyal, loke that he have gunne powder 
brennyng in pypys in his hands and in his ers, etc., 
whanne he gothe to batayle. . . . the iiij dowters 
schul be clad in mentelys, Mercy in wyth, ryth- 
wysnesse in red al togedyr, Trewthe in sad grene, 
& Pes al in blake, and they schul pleye in the place 
al to gedyr tyl they brynge up the sowle." 

Collier (Hist. Dram. Poet.) has gathered together 
some scattered details regarding the presentation 


of these plays. We learn that Vice, the companion 
of the Devil, wore a long coat, and was often given 
a dagger cut from a lath. Of this character much is 
made; he is the precursor of the court jester and the 
familiar Fool of Shakespeare. In Moral, Will, and 
Understanding, Wisdom is clad in " a rich purple 
cloth of gold," and wears " a beard of gold," a 
" cheveler," and " a rich imperial crown thereupon, 
set with precious stones in his left hand a ball of 
gold with a cross, and in his right hand a regal 
sceptre." Anima enters " as a maid, in a white cloth 
of gold, gaily purfled with minever, a mantle of 
black thereupon, a cheveler like to Wisdom, with a 
rich chaplet laced behind, hanging down with two 
knots of gold and side tassels." 
Mr- Pollard writes: 

" In one part of the play a procession was 
formed of the Five Wyttes (or, as we should say, 
jive senses') as * five vyrgynes, with kertyllys and 
mantelys, and chevelers and chappelettes,' singing 
an anthem, * and they goyng before, Anima next, 
and her f olowynge Wysdom, and after hym Mynde, 
Wyll, and Undyrstondynge, all iii in wyght cloth 
of golde, cheveleryde and crestyde in sute' ; and in 
another place there enters a dumb show of ' six 
dysgysyde in the sute of Mynde, namely, Indigna- 
tion, Sturdiness, Malice, Hastiness, Revenge (or 
Wreche), and Discord, ' with rede berdes and lyons 
rampaunt on here crestes and yche a warder in 
his honde.' " 

With the exception of Everyman it is conceded 


that the Moralities are dull, and without sufficient 
action to sustain interest. Isolated passages possess 
considerable literary skill. When Everyman first 
meets with Dethe, there is a song upon his lips, but 
no words to that effect are extant in the text as we 
have it. Songs, however, are not foreign to the Mo- 
rality ; in the Protestant interlude of Lusty Juventus 
occurs this happily conceived lyric : 

In a herber green, asleep where as I lay, 
The birds sang sweet in the middes of the day ; 
I dreamed fast of mirth and play : 

In youth is pleasure, in youth is pleasure. 

Methought I walked still to and fro, 
And from her company I could not go : 
But when I waked, it was not so : 

In youth is pleasure, in youth is pleasure. 

Therefore my heart is sorely pight, 
Of her alone to have a sight, 
Which is my joy and hearts delight: 
In youth is pleasure, in youth is pleasure. 

It now remains for us to say a word concerning 
Everyman and the purpose of this introduction has 
been accomplished. Ten Brink and Collier assign 
this Morality to the reign of Edward IV. (1461- 
1483) ; and as to authenticity, it is regarded by some 
as the translation from a Dutch play, Elckerlijk. 
The author of this original has been traced by Dr. 
Henri Logeman to one Petrus Dorlandus of Diest, 


who was probably some theologian, judging by the 
sectarian spirit breathed throughout the play.* 

Karl Goedeke (Everyman, Homulus, und Hekas- 
tus) has traced, from the standpoint of international 
literature, the direct forebears and contemporaries 
of Everyman. It has been shown by him that the 
central idea of our Morality that of proving one's 
friends is traceable in many of the early parables 
from various countries. Everyman, we find, was 
itself appended to the Legenda Aurea of Jacobus 
Voragine (d. 1298), writes Ward, " as a later addi- 
tion in a brief form derived from the Speculum His- 
toriale, a compilation of the XHIth century by Vin- 
centius of Beauvais. But there can be no doubt that 
the story itself is a parable narrated in the religious 
romance of Barlaam and Jehosaphat, which has been 
ascribed to John of Damascus, who died in 780, but 
is now held to be more probably the work of his 
younger namesake, afterwards Patriarch of Antioch, 
who died in 1090." 

Contemporaneously with Everyman stands the 
Dutch Elckerlijk already mentioned, upon which 
Christian Ischyrius (circa 1536) based a Latin ver- 
sion entitled Homulus. This in turn was translated 
into Dutch and Low German. Ward notes that 
" the publisher of the Latin Homulus sought to add 
to its attraction by prefixing to it a series of scenes, 
taken in part from the contemporary Latin comedy 

*K. H. de Raaf inverts the relation (Of. Chambers, II, 
439; also Bibliographical Note, Schelling's Elizabethan Drama, 
I, 57. In Forefathers, Gayley, p. 296, compares Everyman in 
severity of treatment with Samson Agonistet; cf. also Cham- 
bers, Academy, April 18, 1903, p. 394.) 


of Hekastus, by Macropedius, which was independ- 
ently derived from the same sources as Everyman, 
and which was itself followed by a long series of re- 
productions and imitations in Germany." 

Four early imprints of Everyman are *t present 
known : 

(a) A fragment consisting of two-thirds of the 
manuscript, and now preserved in the British 
Museum : " Imprynted at London in Flete Strete 
by me Rycharde Pynson prynter to the Kynges 
moost noble grace." [1509-1530.] 

(b) A second fragment in the Bodleian Library: 
" Imprynted at London in Flete Strete at the 
Sygne of the George by Rycharde Pynson prynter 
unto the Kynges noble grace." [1509-1530.] 

(c) Two manuscripts edited by John Skot, one 
contained in the library of a Mr. Huth, and the 
other in the Salisbury Cathedral. [1521-1537.] 

(d) Another Skot edition in the Britwell Library : 
" Imprynted at London in Poules chyrche yarde 
by me John Skot." [C/. Chambers: 1529-1537.] 

Of these, Pynson's manuscripts are the older. He 
himself came to England from Normandy, circa 
1490, and in 1509 was appointed special printer to 
King Henry VIII. 

Professor Brander Matthews, in an article on The 
Mediaeval Drama (Mod. PhiloL, June, 1903) writes: 

" The Morality was an attempt to depict char- 
acter, but with the aid of the primary colors only, 


and with an easy juxtaposition of light and dark- 
ness. Yet it helped along the development of the 
drama, in that it permitted a freer handling of 
the action, since the writer of Moralities had al- 
ways to invent his plots, whereas the maker of 
Mysteries had his stories ready-made to his hand; 
the Morality was frankly fiction, while the Miracle 
play gave itself out for fact. Then also the ten- 
dency seems irresistible, for any author who has 
an appreciation of human nature, to go speedily 
from the abstract to the concrete, and to substi- 
tute for the cold figure of Pride itself the fiery 
portrait of an actual man who is proud." 

And it is in exactly this point that Everyman is 
superior to other Moralities. Dethe, Knowlege, 
Good Deeds, Everyman in fact, nearly all the ab- 
stractions assume individualities that make them 
moving forces in the drama. There are instances of 
conventional forms throughout the play, and there 
are set speeches that show it to be markedly a 
" morall playe." There may be an overweight in the 
abstract group of Strengthe, Beaute, and Dyscre- 
cyon, and touches that are even didactic and dog- 
matic, but the struggle of Everyman is the struggle 
of a person as well as of a type. Inasmuch as the 
play represents a struggle, it is a drama, and it 
matters little if you call it Hamlet or Everyman, 
the abstract instantly becomes the concrete, and the 
symbolism of an idea becomes changed into a human 
fact. 9 






















I Pray you all gyve your audyence 
And here this matter with reverence, 
By fygure a morall playe; 
The somonynge of Everyman called it is, 
That of our lyves and endynge shewes 
How transytory we be all daye. 
This mater is wonders 4 precyous, 
But the entent of it is more gracyous 
And swete to here awaye. 
The story sayth Man, in the begynnynge 
Loke well, and take good heed to the endynge, 
Be you never so gay ; 

Ye thynke synne in the begynnynge full swete, 
Whiche in the ende causeth the soule to wepe, 
Whan the body lyeth in claye. 
Here shall you se how Felawshyp and Jolyte, 5 
Bothe Strengthe, Pleasure, and Beaute, 
Wyll fade from the as floure in Maye ; 
For ye shall here how our heven kynge 
Calleth Everyman to a generall rekenynge. 
Gyve audyence and here what he doth saye. 



IPerceyve here in my majeste 
How that all creatures be to me unkynde, 
Lyvynge without drede in worldly prosperyte; 
Of ghostly 7 syght the people be so blynde, 
Drowned in synne they know me not for theyr God ; 
In worldely ryches is all theyr mynde. 
They fere not my ryghtwysnes, the sharpe rood ; 
My lawe that I shewed whan I for them dyed, 
They forgete clene, and shedynge of my blode rede ; 
I hanged bytwene two it can not be denyed ; 
To gete them lyf e I suffred to be deed ; 
I heled theyr fete, with thornes hurt was my heed. 
I coude do no more than I dyde truely, 
And nowe I se the people do clene forsake me : 
They use the seven deedly synnes dampnable, 
As pryde, coveytyse, wrath, and lechery, 
Now in the worlde be made commendable. 
And thus they leve of aungelles the hevenly company ; 
Every man lyveth so after his owne pleasure, 
And yet of theyr lyfe they be nothynge sure. 
I se the more that I them forbere 
The worse they be fro yere to yere ; 
All that lyveth appayreth 8 f aste, 
Therfore I wyll in all the haste 
Have a rekenynge of every mannes persone. 



For, and I leve the people thus alone 

In theyr lyfe and wycked tempestes, 

Veryly they wyll become moche worse than beestes 

For now one wolde by envy another up ete ; 

Charyte they do all clene forgete. 

I hoped well that every man 

In my glory sholde make his mansyon, 

And therto I had them all electe ; 

But now I se, lyke traytours dejecte, 

They thanke me not for the pleasure that I to them 


Nor yet for theyr beynge that I them have lent. 
I profered the people grete multytude of mercy, 
And f ewe there be that asketh it hertly ; 
. . They be so combred with worldly ryches, 
That nedes on them I must do justyce, 
On every man lyvynge without fere. 
Where arte thou, Deth, thou mighty messengere? 


Almighty God, I am here at your wyll, 
Your commaundement to fulfyll. 


Go thou to Everyman, 
And shewe hym in my name 
A pylgrymage he must on hym take, 
Whiche he in no wyse may escape ; 
And that he brynge with hym a sure reckenynge 
Without delay or ony taryenge. 




Lorde, I wyll in the worlde go renne 9 over all, 
And cruelly out serche bothe grete and small. 
Every man wyll I beset that lyveth beestly 
Out of Goddes lawes, and dredeth not foly. 
He that loveth rychesse I wyll stryke with my darte, 
His syght to blynde, and fro heven to departe, 
Excepte that almes be his good frende, 
In hell for to dwell, worlde without ende. 
Lo, yonder I se Everyman walkynge ; 
Full lytell he thynketh on my comynge! 
His mynde is on fleshely lusts and his treasure; 
And grete payne it shall cause hym to endure 
Before the Lorde, heven kynge. 10 
Everyman, stande styll. Whyder arte thou goynge 
Thus gayly ? hast thou thy Maker f orgete ? 


Why askest " thou? 
Woldest thou wete [know] ? 


Ye, syr, I wyll shewe you: 
In grete haste I am sende to the 
Fro God, out of his mageste. 

What sente to me? 




Ye, certaynly. 

Thoughe thou have forgete hym here, 
He thynketh on the in the hevenly spere, 
As, or we departe, thou shalt knowe. 


What desyreth God of me? 

That shall I shewe the: 
A rekenynge he wyll nedes have 
Without ony lenger respyte. 


To gyve a rekenynge longer layser [leisure] I 

crave ; 
This blynde mater troubleth by wytte. 


On the thou must take a longe journey, 
Therfore thy boke of counte with the thou brynge, 
For, tourne agayne thou can not by no waye ; 
And loke thou be sure of thy rekenynge, 
For before God thou shalte answere and shewe 
Thy many badde dedes and good but a fewe, 
How thou hast spente thy lyfe, and in what wyse 
Before the chefe lorde of paradyse. 
Have ado 12 we were in that waye, 
For wete [know] thou well, thou shalte make none 




Full unredy I am suche rekenynge to gyve. 
I knowe the not! What messenger arte thou? 


I am Dethe, that no man dredeth. 
For every man I reste 13 and no man spareth, 
For it is Goddes commaundment 
That all to me sholde be obedyent. 


O Dethe, thou comest whan I had the leest in 

mynde ! 

In thy power it lyeth me to save ; 
Yet of my good wyl I gyve the, yf thou wyl be kynde, 
Ye, a thousande pounde shalte thou have, 
And u dyfferre this mater tyll another daye. 


Everyman, it may not be by no waye ; 15 
I set not by golde, sylver, nor rychesse, 
Ne by pope, emperour, kynge, duke, ne prynces; 
For, and I wolde receyve gyftes grete, 
All the worlde I myght gete ; 
But my custome is clene contrary. 
I gyve the no respyte ; come hens and not tary. 




Alas! shall I have no lenger respyte? 
I may say, Dethe gyveth no warnynge. 
To thynke on the it maketh my herte seke, 18 
For all unredy is my boke of rekenynge. 
But, 17 xn yere and I myght have abydynge, 18 
My countynge boke I wolde make so clere, 
That my rekenynge I sholde not nede to fere. 
Wherfore, Dethe, I praye the, for Goddes mercy, 
Spare me tyll I be provyded of remedy. 


The avayleth not to crye, wepe, and praye, 
But hast [haste] the lyghtly that thou were gone this 


And preve [prove] thy f rendes, yf thou can ; 
For, wete [know] thou well, the tyde abydeth no 


And in the worlde eche lyvynge creature 
For Adams synne must dye of nature. 19 


Dethe, yf I sholde this pylgrymage take, 
And my rekenynge suerly [surely] make, 
Shewe me, for saynt Charyte. 
Sholde I not come agayne shortly? 


No, Everyman, and thou be ones there, 
Thou mayst never more come here, 
Trust me veryly. 




gracyous God in the hye sete celestyall, 
Have mercy on me in this moost nede! 

Shall I have no company fro this vale terestryall 
Of myne acqueynte that way me to lede? 


Ye, yf ony be so hardy 

That wolde go with the and here the company. 
Hye the that thou were gone to Goddes magnyfy- 


Thy rekenynge to gyve before his presence. 
What, wenest [thinkest] thou thy lyve is gyven the, 
And thy worldely goodes also? 


1 had wende [thought] so veryle. 


Nay, nay ; it was but lende the, 
For as soone as thou arte go, 

Another a whyle shall have it and than go ther fro, 
Even as thou hast done. 
Everyman, thou arte made [mad], thou hast thy 

wyttes fyve, 

And here on erthe wyll not amende thy lyve ! 
For sodeynly I do come. 




O wretched caytyfe, wheder [whither] shall I flee, 
That I myght scape this en dies sorowe? 
Now, gentyll Deth, spare me tyll to morowe, 
That I may amende me 
With good advysement ! 


Naye, therto I wyll not consent, 
Nor no man wyll I respyte ; 
But to the herte sodeynly I shall smyte 
Without ony advysement. 
And now out of thy syght I wyll me hy ; 
Se thou make the redy shortely, 
For thou mayst saye, this is the daye 
That no man lyvynge may scape a waye. 


Alas! I may well wepe with syghes depe! 
Now have I no maner of company 
To helpe me in my journey, and me to kepe, 
And also my wrytynge is full unredy. 
How shall I do now for to exscuse me? 
I wolde to God I had never be gete ! 20 
To my soule a fulle grete profyte it had be,^ 
For now I fere paynes huge and grete. 
The tyme passeth Lorde, helpe, that all wrought! 
For though I mourne, it avayleth nought. 
The day passeth, and is almost ago [gone] ; 

[I wote 


I wote not well what for to do. 

To whome were I best my complaynt to make? 

What, and I to Felawshyp thereof spake, 21 

And shewed hym of this sodeyne chaunce! 

For in hym is all myne affyaunce ; 

We have in the worlde so many a daye 

Be good frendes in sporte and playe. 

I se hym yonder certaynely ; 

I trust that he wyll here me company, 

Therefore to hym wyll I speke to ese my sorowe. 

Well mette, good Felawshyp, and good morowe. 


Everyman, good morowe, by this daye. 
Syr, why lokest thou so pyteously ? 
If ony thynge be amysse, I praye the me saye, 
That I may helpe to remedy. 


Ye, good Felawshyp, ye ; 
I am in greate jeoparde. 


My true f rende, shewe to me your mynde ; 
I wyll not forsake the to my lyves ende, 
In the waye of good company. 

That was well spoken and lovyngly. 




Syr, I must nedes knowe your hevynesse ; 
I have pyte to se you in ony dystresse. 
If ony have you wronged, 22 ye shall revenged be, 
Though I on the grounde be slayne for the ; 
Though that I knowe before that I sholde dye. 

Veryly, Felawshyp, gramercy. 


Tusshe! by thy thankes I set not a strawe, 
Shewe me your grefe, and saye no more. 


If I my herte sholde to you breke, 
And than you to tourne your mynde fro me, 
And wolde not me comforte whan ye here me speke, 
Than sholde I ten tymes soryer be. 

Syr, I saye as I wyll do in dede. 


Than be you a good f rende at nede, 
I have founde you true here before. 




And so ye shall evermore, 
For, in fayth, and thou go to hell, 
I wyll not forsake the by the waye. 


Ye speke lyke a good f rende, I byleve you well ; 
I shall deserve it, and I maye. 


I speke of no deservynge, by this daye, 
For he that wyll saye and nothynge do, 
Is not worthy with good company to go ; 
Therfore shewe me the grefe of your mynde 
As to your f rende moost lovynge and kynde. 


I shall shewe you how it is : 
Commaunded I am to go a journaye 
A longe waye, harde and daungerous, 
And gyve a strayte counte 23 without delaye 
Before the hye judge Adonay. 24 
Wherfore, I pray you, bere me company, 
As ye have promysed, in this journaye. 


That is mater in dede ! Promyse is duty ; 
But and I sholde take suche a vyage on me, 
I knowe it well it sholde be to my payne; 
Also it makes me aferde, certayne. 



But let us take counsel! here as well as we can, 
For your wordes wolde fere a stronge man. 


Why, ye sayd if I had nede, 
Ye wolde me never forsake, quycke ne deed, 
Though it were to hell, truely. 


So I sayd certaynely ; 

But suche pleasures be set asyde, the sothe 25 to saye, 
And also, yf we toke suche a journaye, 
Whan sholde we come agayne ? 

Nay, never agayne tyll the daye of dome. 


In fayth, than wyll not I come there. 
Who hath you these tydynges brought? 

In dede, Dethe was with me here. 


Now, by God that alle hathe bought, 
If Dethe were the messenger, 
For no man that is lyvynge to daye 
I wyll not go that lothe journaye, 
Not for the fader that bygate me. 



Ye promysed other wyse, parde. 


I wote [know] well I say so, truely, 
And yet yf thou wylte etc and drynke and make good 


Or haunt to women the lusty company, 
I wolde not forsake you whyle the daye is clere, 
Trust me veryly. 


Ye, therto ye wolde be redy : 
To go to myrthe, solas, and playe. 
Your mynde wyll sooner apply 
Than to here me company in my longe journaye. 


Now, in good fayth, I wyll not that waye : 
But, and thou wyll murder, or ony man kyll, 
In that I wyll helpe thee with a good wyll. 


O, that is a symple advyse in dede ! 
Gentyll Felawe, 26 help me in my necessyte ; 
We have loved longe, and now I nede ! 
And now, gentyll Felawshyp, remember me. 


Wheder ye have loved me or no, 
By saynt John, I wyll not with the go. 




Yet I pray the, take the labour, and do so moche 

for me, 

To brynge me forwarde, 27 for saynt Charyte, 
And comforte me, tyll I come without the towne. 


Nay, and thou wolde gyve me a newe gowne, 
I wyll not a f ote with the go ; 
But and thou had taryed, I wolde not have lefte the 


And as now, God spede the in thy journaye! 
For from the I wyll departe as fast as I maye. 


Wheder awaye, Felawshyp ? wyll you 28 forsake 


Ye, by my f aye ! To God I betake the ! 

Farewell, good Felawshype ! For this my herte is 

Adewe forever, I shall se the no more ! 




In fayth, Everyman, fare well now at the ende, 29 
For you I wyll remember that partynge is mourn- 


Alacke ! shall we thus departe in dede? 
A! Lady, helpe, without ony more comforte, 
Lo, Felawshyp forsaketh me in my moost nede. 80 
For helpe in this worlde wheder shall I resorte? 
Felawshyp here before with me wolde mery make, 
And nowe lytell sorowe for me dooth he take. 
It is sayd, in prosperyte men frendes may fynde, 
Whiche in adversyte be full unkynde. 
Now wheder [whither] for socoure shall I flee, 
Syth [since] that Felawshyp hath forsaken me? 
To my kynnesmen I wyll truely, 
Prayenge them to helpe me in my necessyte. 
I beleve that they wyll do so, 
For kynde wyll crepe where it may not go. 31 
I wyll go saye; for yonder I se them go: 
Where be ye now, my frendes and kynnesmen? 32 


Here be we now at your commaundement. 
Cosyn, I praye you, shewe us your entent 
In ony wise, and not spare. 33 


Ye, Everyman, and to us declare 
If ye be disposed to go ony whyder ; 
For, wet you well wyll lyve and dye to gyder. 34 




In welth and wo we wyll with you holde ; 35 
For over his kynne a man may be bolde. 


Gramercy, my f rendes and kynnesmen kynde, 
Now shall I shewe you the gref e of my mynde. 
I was commaunded by a messenger, 
That is a hye kynges chefe offycer; 
He bad me go a pylgrymage to my payne, 
And, 36 I knowe well, I shall never oome agayne. 
Also I must gyve a rekenynge strayte, 
For I have a grete enemy that hath me in wayte, 
Whiche entendeth me for to hynder. 


What a counte is that whiche ye must render ? 
That wolde I knowe. 


Of all my workes I must shewe, 
How I have lyved, and my dayes spent ; 
Also of yll dedes that I have used 
In my tyme, syth lyfe was me lent, 
And of all vertues that I have refused. 
Therefore, I praye you, go thyder with me 
To helpe to make myn accounte, for saynt Charyte. 




"What, to go thyder? Is that the mater? 
Nay, Everyman, I had lever fast 37 brede and water, 
All this fyve yere and more. 


Alas, that ever I was bore ! 
For now shall I never be mery, 
If that you forsake me. 


A ! syr, what, ye be a mery man ! 
Take good herte to you, and make no mone. 
But one thynge I warne you, by saint Anne, 
As for me, ye shall go alone. 


My Cosyn, wyll you not with me go? 

No, by our Lady ! I have the crampe in my to : 88 
Trust not to me ; for, so God me spede, 
I wyll 39 deceyve you in your moost nede. 


It avayleth not us to tyse [entice] : 
Ye shall have my mayde, with all my herte; 
She loveth to go to festes there to be nyse, 
And to daunce, and abrode to sterte. 
I wyll gyve her leve to helpe you in that journeye, 
If that you and she may agree. 




Now 40 shewe me the very effecte of your mynde 
Wyll you go with me, or abyde be hynde? 


Abyde behynde ! ye, that wyll I and I maye ; 
Therfore farewell tyll another daye. 


Howe sholde I be mery or gladde ? 
For fayre promyses men to me make, 
But, when I have moost nede, they me forsake ; 
I am deceyved, that maketh me sadde. 


Cosyn Everyman, farewell now, 
For, veryly, I wyll not go with you. 
Also of myne owne 41 an unredy rekenynge 
I have to accounte, therf ore I make taryenge ; 
Now God kepe the, for now I go. 


A ! Jesus, is all come hereto ? 
Lo, fayre wordes maketh fooles fayne ; 42 
They promyse, and nothynge wyll do certayne. 
My kynnesmen promysed me f aythfully 
For to abyde with me stedf astly ; 
And now fast awaye do they flee : 
Even so Felawshyp promysed me. 
What f rende were best me of to provyde ? 

[I lose 


I lose my time here longer to abyde ; 

Yet in my mynde a thynge there is : 

All my lyfe I have loved ryches ; 

If that my Goodes now helpe me myght, 

He 43 wolde make my herte full light ; 

I wyll speke to him in this distresse. 

Where arte thou, my Goodes and Ryches? 


Who calleth me? Everyman? what, hast thou 

haste? 44 

I lye here in corners trussed and pyled so hye, 
And in chestes I am locked so fast, 
Also sacked in bagges, thou mayst se with thyn eye, 
I can not styre ; in packes, lowe [low] I lye. 
What wolde ye have? Lightly me saye. 


Come hyder, Goodes, in al the haste thou may, 
For of counseyll I must desyre the. 


Syr, and ye in the worlde have sorowe or adversyte, 
That can I helpe you to remedy shortly. 


It is another dysease that greveth me ; 
In this world it is not, I tell the so, 
I am sent for an other way to go, 
To gyve a strayte counte generall 
Before the hyest Jupiter of all. 



And all my lyfe I have had joye and pleasure in the, 45 

Therfore I pray the 46 go with me ; 

For, paraventure, thou mayst before God almyghty 

My rekenynge helpe to clene and puryfye, 

For it is saide ever amonge, 

That money maketh all ryght that is wronge. 


Nay, Everyman, I synge an other songe ; 
I folowe no man in suche vyages, 
For, and I wente with the, 
Thou sholdes fare moche the worse for me : 
For because on me thou dyd set thy mynde, 
Thy rekenynge I have made blotted and blynde, 
That thyne accounte thou can not 4T make truely ; 
And that hast thou for the love of me. 


That wolde greve me full sore, 
Whan I sholde come to that ferefull answere. 
Up, let us go thyder togyder ! 


Nay, not so ; I am to bry tell, I may not endure : 
I wyll folowe no man one fote, be ye sure. 


Alas ! I have the loved, and had grete pleasure 
All my lyfe dayes on good and treasure. 




That is to thy dampnacyon without lesynge, 48 
For my love is contrary to the love everlastynge ; 
But yf thou had me loved moderately durynge, 
As to the poore gyve parte of me, 49 
Than sholdest thou not in this dolour be, 80 
Nor in this grete sorowe and care. 


Lo, now was I deceyved or 51 I was ware, 
And all I may wyte 62 myspendynge of tyme. 

What, wenest [thinkest] thou I am thyne? 

I had went [thought] so. 


Nay, Everyman, I saye no : 
As for a whyle I was lente the; 
A season thou hast had me in prosperyte ; 
My condycyon is mannes soule to kyll, 
If I save one, a thousande I do spyll. 
Wenest thou that I wyll folowe the? 
Nay, fro this world not veryle. 03 

I had wende [thought] otherwyse. 




Therfore to thy soul Good is a thefe, 
For whan thou arte deed, this is my gyse, 
Another to deceyve in the same wyse 
As I have done the, and all to his soules reprefe. 


O false Good, cursed thou be, 
Thou traytour to God that hast deceyved me 
And caught me in thy snare. 


Mary [Marry], thou brought thy self in care, 
Wherof I am gladde: 
I must nedes laugh, I can not be sadde. 


A, Good, thou hast had longe my hertely [hearty] 


I gave the that whiche sholde be the Lordes above ; 
But wylte thou not go with me in dede? 
I pray the trouth to say. 


No, so God me spede ! 
Therfore fare well and have good daye. 


O ! to whome shall I make my mone 
For to go with me in that hevy journaye? 



Fyrst Felawshyp sayd he wolde with me gone ; 

His wordes were very plesaunt and gaye, 

But afterwarde he lefte me alone. 

Than spake I to my kynnesmen all in dyspayre, 

And also they gave me wordes fayre; 

They lacked no fayre spekynge, 

But all forsake me in the endynge. 

Then wente I to my Goodes that I loved best, 

In hope to have comf orte : but there had I leest, 

For my Goodes sharpely dyd me tell 

That he bryngeth many in to hell. 

Than of my self I was ashamed, 

And so I am worthy to be blamed: 

Thus may I well my selfe hate. 

Of whome shall I now counseyll take? 

I thynke that I shall never spede 

Tyll that I go to my Good Dede ; 

But, alas ! she is so weke 

That she can nother go nor speke ; 

Yet wyll I venter on her now. 

My Good Dedes, where be you ? 


Here I lye colde in the grounde ; 
Thy synnes hath me sore bounde 
That I can not stere [stir] . 


O Good Dedes, I stande in 54 fere. 
I must you praye of counseyll, 
For helpe now sholde come ryght well. 

[Good Dedes 



Everyman, I have understandynge 
That ye be somoned a counte to make 
Before Myssyas of Jherusalem kynge, 
And you do by me that journay with you wyll I 
* take. 68 


Therfore I come to you my mone to make, 
I praye you that ye wyll go with me. 

I wolde full fayne, but I can not stande veryly. 

Why, is there ony thynge on you fall? 


Ye, syr, I may thanke you of 56 all. 
If ye had parfytely chered me, 
Your boke of counte full redy nowe had be. 
Loke, the bokes of your workes and dedes [deeds] 


A ! se 6T how they lye under the fete, 
To your soules hevynes. 


Our Lorde Jesus helpe me, 
For one letter here I can not se. 

[Good Dedes 


There is a blynde reckenynge in tyme of dystres! 


Good Dedes, I praye you helpe me in this nede, 
Or elles I am for ever dampned in dede ; 
Therfore helpe me to make rekenynge 
Before the Redemer of all thynge, 
That kynge is, and was, and ever shall. 


Everyman, I am sory of your fall, 
And fayne wolde I helpe you and I were able. 

Good Dedes, your counseyll, I praye you, gyve me. 


That shall I do veryly ; 
Thoughe that on my fete I may not go, 
I have a syster that shall with you also, 
Called Knowlege, whiche shall with you abyde, 
To helpe you to make that dredeful rekenynge. 


Everyman, I wyll go with the, and be thy gyde 
In thy moost nede to go by thy syde. 




In good oondycyon I am now in every thynge, 
And am hole content with this good thynge, 
Thanked be God my creator. 


'And whan he hath brought the there, 
Where thou shalt hele the of thy smarte, 
Than go thou with thy rekenynge and thy good dedes 


For to make the joyfull at herte 
Before the blessed Trynyte. 


My Good Dedes, gramercy ; 58 
I am well content certaynly 
With your wordes swete. 


Now go we togyder lovyngly 
To Confessyon, that clensynge ryvere. 


For joy I wepe : I wolde we were there ! 
But, I pray you, gyve me cognycyon, 59 
Where dwelleth that holy man Confessyon? 


\sC5> Sc"' 

In the hous of salvacyon ; 
We shall f ynde hym in that place, 
That shall us comforte by Goddes grace. 



Lo, this is Confessyon : knele downe, and aske mercy, 
For he is in good conceyte with God almyghty. 


gloryous fountayne that all unclenenes doth 


Wasshe fro me the spottes of vyce unclene, 
That on me no synne may be sene ; 
I come with Knowlege for my redempcyon, 
Redempte with herte and full contrycyon, 
For I am commaunded a pylgrymage to take, 
And grete accountes before God to make. 
Now I pray you, Shryfte, moder of salvacyon, 
Helpe my good dedes for my pyteous exclamacyon. 


1 knowe your sorowe well, Everyman. 
Because with Knowlege ye come to me, 
I wyll you comf orte as well as I can ; 
And a precyous Jewell I wyll gyve the, 
Called penaunce, voyce voyder 60 of adversyte; 
Therwith shall your body chastysed be 

With abstynence and perseveraunce in Goddes ser- 


Here shall you receyve that scourge of me 
Whiche is penaunce stronge that ye must endure, 
To remember thy Savyour was scourged for the 
With sharpe scourges, and suffred it pacyently ; 
So must thou or [ere] thou scape that paynful pyl- 



Knowlege, kepe hym in this vyage, 

And by that tyme Good Dedes wyll be with the; 

But in ony wyse be seker [sure] of mercy, 

For your tyme draweth fast and ye wyll saved be ; 

Aske God mercy, and he wyll graunte truely 

Whan with the scourge of penaunce man doth hym 

The oyle of forgyvenes than shall he fynde. 


Thanked be God for his gracyous werke, 
For nowe I wyll my penaunce begyn ; 
This hath rej oysed and lyghted my herte, 
Though the knottes be paynful and harde within. 


Everyman, loke your penaunce that ye fulfyll, 
What payne that ever it to you be ; 
And Knowlege 61 shall gyve you counseyll at wyll, 
How your accounte ye shall make clerely. 


O eternal God, o hevenly fygure, 
O way of ryghtwysnes, o goodly vysyon, 
Whych dyscended downe in a vyrgyne pure 62 
Because he wolde every man redeme, 
Which Adam f orf ayted by his disobedyence ; 
O blessyd Godheed, electe and hye devyne, 
Forgyve my grevous offence ! 
Here I crye the mercy in this presence: 
O ghostly treasure, o raunsomer and redemer! 

[Of all 



Of all the worlde, hope and conduyter, 63 

Myrrour of joye, foundatour [foundation] of mercy, 

Whiche enlumyneth heven and erth therby, 

Here my clamorous complaynt, though it late be ! 

Receyve my prayers ! unworthy in this hevy lyfe, 64 

Though I be a synner most abhomynable, 

Yet let my name be wryten in Moyses table. 

Mary, praye to the maker of all thynge 
Me for to helpe at my endynge, 

And save me fro the power of my enemy ! 

For Dethe assayleth me strongly: 

And, Lady, that I may, by meane of thy prayer, 

Of your sones glory to be partynere, 

By the meanes of his passyon, I it crave; 

1 beseche you, helpe my soule to save ! 
Knowlege, gyve me the scourge of penaunce, 
My flesshe therwith shall gyve acqueyntance ; 65 
I wyll now begyn, yf God gyve me grace. 


Everyman, God gyve you tyme and space! 
Thus I bequeth you in the handes of our Savyour; 
Now may you make your rekenynge sure. 


In the name of the holy Trynyte 
My body sore punyshed shall be, 
Take this body for the synne of the flesshe; 
Also thou delytest to go gay and freshe, 
And in the way of dampnacyon thou dyd me brynge ; 
Therf ore suffre now strokes of punysshynge ; 



Now of penaunce I wyll wade the water clere, 
To save me from purgatory, that sharpe fyre. 68 


I thanke God now I can walke and go, 
And am delyvered of my sykenesse and wo! 
Therfore with Everyman I wyll go, and not spare, 
His good workes I wyll helpe hym to declare. 


Now, Everyman, be mery and glad, 
Your Good Dedes cometh now, ye may not be sad; 
Now is your Good Dedes hole and sounde, 
Goynge upryght upon the grounde. 


My herte is lyght and shall be evermore; 
Now wyll I smyte faster than I dyde before. 


Everyman, pylgryme, my special frende, 
Blessyd be thou without ende ; 
For the is preparate the eternale glorye. 
Ye have me made hole and sounde, 
Therfore I wyll byde by the in every stounde. 67 


Welcome, my Good Dedes ! Now I here thy voyce, 
I wepe for swetenes of love. 




Be no more sad, but ever re Joyce, 
God seeth thy lyvynge in his trone above; 
Put on this garment to thy behove, 
Which is wette with your teres, 
Or elles 68 before God you may it mysse, 
When ye to your journeys ende come shall. 


Gentyll Knowlege, what do you y t call ? 


It is the garment of sorowe, 
Fro payne it wyll you borowe ; 
Contrycyon it is, 
That getteth forgyvenes, 
It pleaseth God passynge well. 

Everyman, wyll you were it for you hele [health] ? 


Now blessyd be Jesu, Maryes sone, 
For nowe have I on true contrycyon : 
And lette us go now without taryenge. 
Good Dedes, have we clere our rekenynge. 

Ye, in dede, I have them 68 here. 




Than I trust we nede not fere. 
Now, frendes, let us not parte in twayne. 

.ce-\ CG>U' vafttu 


Nay, Everyman, that wyll we not certayne. 


Yet must thou leade with the 
Thre persones of grete myght. 

Who sholde they be? 


Dyscrecyon and Strengthe they hyght [are called], 
And thy Beaute may not abyde behynde. 


Also ye must call to mynde 
Your Fyve Wyttes as for your counseylours. 

' You must have them ready at all houres. 

Howe shall I gette them hyder? 




You must call them all togyder, 
And they wyll here you incontynent. 71 


My frendes, come hyder and be present, 
Dyscrecyon, Strengthe, my Fyve Wyttes 7 * and 


Here at your wyll we be all redy ; 
What wyll ye that we shulde do? 


That ye wolde with Everyman go, 
And helpe hym in his pylgrymage. 
Advyse you, wyll ye with hym or not in that vyage ? 


We wyll brynge hym all thyder 
To his helpe and comforte, 73 ye may beleve me. 

So wyll we go with hym all togyder. 


Almyghty God, loved myght thou be ; 
I gyve the laude that I have hyder brought 
Strengthe, Dyscrecyon, Beaute, Fyve Wyttes, lacke 
I nought 



And my Good Dedes, with Knowlege clere, 

All be in my company at my wyll here ; 

I desyre no more to my besynes [business]. 74 


And I Strengthe wyll by you stande in dystres, 
Though thou wolde in batayle fyght on the grounde. 


And though it were thrugh the worlde rounde, 
We wyll not departe for swete ne soure. 


No more wyll I unto dethes houre, 
Watsoever thereof befall. 


Everyman, advyse you fyrst of all, 
Go with a good advysement and delyberacyon. 
We all gyve you vertuous monycyon 
That all shall be well. 


My f rendes, harken what I wyll tell ; 
I praye God rewarde you in his heven spere. 
Now herken all that be here, 
For I wyll make my testament 
Here before you all present: 

[In almes 


In almes, halfe my good I wyll gyve with my handes 


In the way of charyte with good entent, 
And the other halfe styll shall remayne 
In queth to be retourned 75 there it ought to be. 
This I do in despyte of the fende of hell, 
To gon quyte out of his perell 
Ever after and this daye. 


Everyman, herken what I saye ; 
Go to presthode, I you advyse, 
And receyve of him in ony wyse 
The holy sacrament and oyntement 7e togyder, 
Than shortly se ye tourne agayne hyder ; 
We wyll all abyde you here. 


Ye, Everyman, hye you that ye redy were. 
There is no emperour, kynge, duke, ne baron 
That of God hath commycyon, 

As hath the leest preest in the worlde beynge [being] ; 
For of the blessyd sacramentes pure and benygne 


He bereth the keyes, and thereof hath the cure 
For mannes redempcyon, it is ever sure, 
Whiche God for our soules medycyne 
Gave us oute of his herte with grete payne, 
Here in this transytory lyfe for the and me. 
The blessyd sacramentes vn there be, 



Baptym, confyrmacyon, with preesthode good, 
And the sacrament of Goddes precyous flesshe and 


Maryage, the holy extreme unccyon, and penaunce; 
These seven be good to have in remembraunce, 
Gracyous sacramentes of hye devynyte. 


Fayne wolde I receyve that holy body, 
And mekely to my ghostly fader I wyll go. 


Everyman, that is the best that ye can do ; 
God wyll you to salvacyon brynge, 
For preesthode excedeth all other thynge; 
To us holy scrypture they do teche, 
And converteth man fro synne heven to reche ; 
God hath to them more power gyven 
Than to ony aungell that is in heaven. 
With v wordes he may consecrate 
Goddes body in flesshe and blode to make, 77 
And handeleth his maker bytwene his handes; 
The preest byndeth and unbyndeth all bandes 
Bothe in erthe and in heven ; 
Thou 78 mynystres all the sacramentes seven ; 
Though we kysse thy fete thou were worthy, 
Thou art surgyon that cureth synne deedly ; 
No remedy we fynde under God, 
But all onely preesthode. 
Everyman, God gave preestes that dygnyte, 
And setteth them in his stede amonge us to be ; 
Thus be they above aungelles in degree. 




If preestes be good it is so suerly, 
But whan Jesu hanged on the crosse with grete 


There he gave out of his blessyd herte 
The same sacrament in grete tourment; 
He solde them not to us, that Lorde omnypotent ; 
Therfore saynt Peter the apostell dothe saye 
That Jesus curse hath all they 
Whiche God theyr Savyour do by [buy] or sell, 
Or they for ony money do take or tell; 
Synfull preestes gyveth the synners example bad ; 
Theyr chyldren sytteth by other mennes fyres, I have 


And some haunteth womens company, 
With unclene lyf e, as lustes of lechery ; 
These be with synne made blynde. 


I trust to God no suche may we fynde ; 
Therfore let us preesthode honour, 
And folowe theyr doctryne for our soules socoure. 
We be theyr shepe, and they shepeherdes be, 
By whome we all be kepte in suerte. 
Peas ! for yonder I see Everyman come, 
Whiche hath made trewe satysfaccyon. 

Me thynke, it is he indede. 




Now Jesu be our 79 alder spede! 80 
I have receyved the sacrament for my redempcyon. 
And than myne extreme unccyon. 
Blessyd be all they that counseyled me to take it ! 
And now, frendes, let us go without longer respyte; 
I thanke God that ye have taryed so longe. 
Now set eche of you on this rodde your honde. 
And shortely folowe me: 
I go before, there I wolde be : God be our gyde ! 


Everyman, we wyll not fro you go, 
Tyll ye have gone this vyage longe. 


I, Dyscrecyon, wyll byde by you also. 

And though this pylgrymage be never so stronge, 
I wyll never parte you fro. 
Everyman, I wyll be as sure by the 
As ever I was by Judas Machabee. 81 


Alas ! I am so f aynt I may not stande, 
My lymmes under me do f olde. 
Frendes, let us not tourne agayne to this lande, 
Not for all the worldes golde, 
For into this cave must I crepe, 
And torne to the erthe and there slepe. 82 



What, in to this grave? Alas! 


, wQ ft- r > 

Ye, there shall ye consume more and lesse. 83 

And what, sholde I smoder here? 


Ye, by my fayth, and never more appere! 
In this worlde lyve no more we shall, 
But in heven before the hyest lorde of all. 


I crosse out all this ! adewe, by saynt Johan ! 
I take 84 my cappe in my lappe, and ara gone. 


What, Beaute ! whyder wyll ye ? 


Peas ! I am defe, I loke not behynd me, 
Not and thou woldest gyve me all the golde in thy 


Alas! whereto may I truste? 
Beaute gothe fast awaye fro me, 85 
She promysed with me to lyve and dye. 




Everyman, I wyll the also forsake and denye s 
Thy game lyketh me not at all. 


Why, than ye wyll forsake me all! 
Swete Strengthe, tary a lytel space. 86 


Nay, syr, by the rode of grace, 
I wyll hye me from the fast, 
Though thou wepe till thy hert do brast. 

Ye wolde ever byde by me, ye sayd. 


Ye, I have you ferre ynoughe conveyde. 
Ye be olde ynoughe, I understande, 
Your pylgrymage to take on hande ; 
I repent me that I hyder came. 


Strengthe, you to dysplease I am to blame ; 
Wyll ye breke promyse that is dette ? 87 


In f ayth, as for that I care not ! 
Thou art but a foole to complayne. 
You spende your spech, and waste your brayne ; 
Go, thryste [thrust] the into the grounde. 




I had wende surer I sholde you have founde, 
But I se well, that trusteth in his Strengthe, 
She hym deceyveth 88 at the lengthe ; 
Bothe Strength and Beaute forsaketh me, 
Yet they promysed me f ayre and lovyngly. 89 


Everyman, I wyll after Strength be gone ; 
As for me, I wyll leve you alone. 

Why, Dyscrecyon, wyll ye forsake me? 


Ye, in fayth, I wyll go fro the, 
For whan Strength goth before 
I folowe after ever more. 


Yet, I pray the for love of the Trynyte, 
Loke in my grave ones pyteously. 


Nay, so nye wyll I not come ! 
Now farewell fellowes everychone. 


O, all thynge fayleth, save God alone : 
Beaute, Strengthe, and Dyscrecyon ; 
For, whan Deth bloweth his blast, 
They all renne fro me full fast. 

[Fyve Wyttes 



Everyman, my leve now of the I take ; 
I wyll folowe the other, for here I the forsake. 


Alas ! than may I wayle and wepe, 
For I toke you for my best frende. 


I wyll no lenger the kepe ; 
Now farewell, and here an ende. 

O Jesu, helpe! all hath forsaken me. 


Nay, Everyman, I wyll byde with the, 
I wyll not forsake the in dede ; 
Thou shalte fynde me a good frende at nede. 


Gramercy, Good Dedes, now may I true f rendes se ; 
They have forsaken me everychone ; 
I loved them better than my Good Dedes alone ; 
Knowlege, wyll ye forsake me also? 


Ye, Everyman, whan ye to deth shall go, 
But not yet for no maner of daunger. 





Gramercy, Knowlege, with all my herte. 


Nay, yet I wyll not from hens departe, 
Tyll I se where ye shall be come. 


Me thynke, alas ! that I must be gone 
To make my rekenynge, and my dettes paye ; 
For I se my tyme is nye spente away. 
Take example, all ye that this do here or se, 
How they that I love best do forsake me, 
Excepte my Good Dedes that bydeth truely. 


All erthly thynges is but vanyte, 
Beaute, Strengthe, and Dyscrecyon do man forsake, 
Folysshe frendes and kynnesmen that fayre spake, 
All fleeth save Good Dedes, and that am I. 


Have mercy on me, God moost myghty, 
And stande by me, thou moder and mayde, holy Mary. 

Fere not, I wyll speke for the. 

Here I crye, God mercy ! 

[Good Dedes 



Shorte our ende and mynyshe our payne ; 
Let us go and never come agayne. 


Into thy handes, Lorde, my soule I commende. 
Receyve it, Lorde, that it be not lost ! 
As thou me boughtest, so me defende, 
And save me fro the fendes boost [fiend's boast] 
That I may appere with that blessyd hoost 
That shall be saved at the day of dome: 
In manus tuas, of myghtes moost, 
For ever commendo spiritum meum. QO 


Now hath he suffred that we all shall endure, 
The good dedes shall make all sure. 
Now hath he made endynge, 
Me thynketh that I here aungelles synge, 
And make grete joy and melody, 
Where every mannes 91 soule receyved shall be. 


Come, excellente electe spouse to Jesu ! 
Here above thou shalte go, 
Because of thy synguler vertue. 
Now thy soule is taken thy body fro, 
Thy rekenynge is crystall clere ; 
Now shalte thou into the hevenly spere, 
Unto the whiche all ye shall come 
That lyveth well, before the daye of dome 




This morall men 92 may have in mynde : 
Ye herers, take it of 93 worth, olde and yonge, 
And forsake pryde, for he deceyveth you in the ende, 
And remember Beaute, Fyve Wyttes, Strengthe, and 


They all at the last do Everyman forsake, 
Save his Good Dedes, there doth he take. 94 
But beware, and they be small, 
Before God he hath no helpe at all ; 
None excuse may be there for Everyman. 
Alas! howe shall he do than? 
For after dethe amendes may no man make, 
For than mercy and pyte doth hym forsake ; 
If his rekenynge be not clere whan he doth come, 
God wyll saye Ite, maledicti, in ignem aeternum. 
And he that hath his accounte hole and sounde 
Hye in heven he shall be crounde, 
Unto whiche place God bringe us all thyder, 
That we may lyve body and soule togyder ! 
Therto helpe the Trynyte! 
Amen, saye ye, for saynt Charyte. 


Thus endeth this morall playe of Everyman. 95 



1. An example of the trope is well illustrated in 
the following which is taken from Gautier's Hist, de 
la Poesie Liturg. au Moyen Age. Les Tropes [pp. 
2-3]. The Introit to the Mass of Christmas Morn- 
ing reads (Roman Liturgy) : 

Puer natus est nobis, et filius datus est nobis, cujus 
imperium super humerum ejus, et vocabitur nomen 
ejus magni consilii angelus (Isaiah ix. 6). 

In trope: Gaudeamus hodie quia Deus descendit de 
coelis, et propter nos in terris Puer natus est nobis, 
quern Prophetse diu vaticinati sunt. Et filius 
datus est nobis. Hunc a Patre jam novimus ad- 
venisse in mundum Cujus imperium super humerum 
ejug, potestas et regnum in manu ejus. Et voca- 
bitur nomen ejus Admirabilis, consiliarius, Deus 
fortis, princeps pacis, magni consilii angelus. 
The relation, however, between the trope and the 

later liturgical and passion plays is a difficult, yet 

an important, one to establish. 

2. In Das Drama des Mittelalters, R. Froning, 
appear examples of this change to the vernacular, in 
the German development. From the Trier Easier 
Play, the following is quoted (vide vol. i, p. 51, 11. 
50-53) : 

Tune angeli cantant : 

Quern queritis, O tremule mulieres, in hoc tumulo 
plorantes ? 


134 NOTES 

Et primus angelus dicit rickmum : 

Wenen sucht ir drij f rauwen 

myd jamer un myt ruwen 

also frue inn dyessem grabe 

an dyssem osterlychen tage? 

Note the translation is fairly close, with but a slight 
idea added. 
From the BenediJctbeur Passion Play, the earliest 

Passion play extant (end of Xlllth century, or 

beginning of XlVth century), the following is 

quoted (vide p. 286, 11. 27-30; 35-41) : 
Modo vadat Maria cum puellis ad mercatorem can- 


Michi confer, venditor, species emendas 

pro multa pecunia tibi iam reddenda ! 

si quid habes insuper ordoramentorum : 

nam volo perungere corpus hoc decorum. . . . 
Maria Magdalena : 

Chramer, gip die varwe mier, 

diu min wengel roete, 

da mit ich di jungen man 

an ir danch der minnenliebe noete ! 

Seht mich an, 

jungen man! 

Lat mich eu gevallen ! 

Note the free translation, lyrical style, and popular 
quality. There are two more stanzas in a similar 

3. We quote from Mr. Charles Davidson's invalu- 
able monograph on the English Mystery Plays (Yale 
Univ., 1892) concerning the puys: 

NOTES 135 

" In France, the puy, that shadowy literary 
academy of the Middle Ages, was the immediate 
successor of the clergy. These puys, semi-reli- 
gious, semi-literary, were very numerous in the 
west and north of France. During the Xlth and 
Xllth centuries they were devoted to the service 
of the Virgin, and the members composed verse in 
her honor, but in the Xlllth century the influ- 
ence of the lay members led to a broader literary 
life, and they cultivated zealously the religious 
drama. To some puy the cycle of Notre-Dame is 
attributed. In the Puy d'Arras, it is believed, the 
comedies of Adam de la Halle were played. These 
literary societies, about the XVth century, turned 
to other lines of literary activity, to Moralities, 
farces, chansons, chants, royaux, etc., the Mys- 
tery falling to the various societies of confreres, 
of which the Confreres de la Passion, of Paris, was 
the most famous." 

4. The development of the drama in Germany is 
not here considered at length, since the limits and 
scope of the Introduction would not allow it. The 
French period of transition, being a typical one and 
directly influencing the English, must necessarily be 
treated, since without it, the English Mysteries would 
appear isolated, and as a growth peculiar to English 
soil. The reader will see that the Anglo-Norman 
combine did much to establish the English religious 
drama. However, Germany is rich in material, and 
has been worked up by authorities mentioned in the 

5. Theophile sells his soul to Satan, and finally 

136 NOTES 

repents and is saved ; the play thus had a strong theo- 
logical motive for those who witnessed it. An anal- 
ogy is traced in Goethe's Faust. 

6. Some idea of the length of the French Mys- 
teries may be obtained from the following list, based 
upon De Julleville : 

Saint Etienne 346 verses (only a fragment). 
Acts of Apostles 61,908 verses. 
Old Testament 50,000 verses. 
New Testament 180,000 verses. 

7. Professor Edwin R. A. Seligman (Med. Gilds 
of Eng.) thus describes the duties of the Gild Mer- 
chant : 

" It was instituted solely for the purpose of secur- 
ing exemptions from commercial burdens and 
enjoying a practical monopoly of municipal 
trade. It possessed property, enjoyed the priv- 
ilege of self-government, often formed conven- 
tions with the gild of a neighboring town to 
afford reciprocal rights of free entry and exit, 
was not without a certain jurisdiction, although 
always subordinate to the court leet, and often 
attained sufficient importance to become, to a 
limited extent, an integral part of the civic ad- 
ministration [through its members belonging to 
civic organizations]." 

The craft gilds represented the laboring rather 
than the merchant class. The members of a par- 
ticular trade united, writes Professor Seligman, 
not for political protection, but to obtain economic 
advantages and supervision of its members ; to pre- 
vent individuals from gaining unfair advantage 

NOTES 137 

over others. It was not developed from the Gild 
Merchant; it rarely opposed the Gild Merchant. A 
craftsman could become a member of this higher 

8. It must not be inferred that the four cycles 
here mentioned represent the extent of the Mystery 
play in England. In the Appendix to The English 
Religious Drama, Katharine Lee Bates gives a sum- 
mary of the plays, showing that at one time there 
existed cycles in London, Worcester, and Beverley; 
besides the four principal cycles treated of in the In- 
troduction, there are also extant plays from Corn- 
wall, Dublin, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Norfolk, Norwich, 
and Digby. See also E. K. Chambers' The Mediceval 
Stage, vol. ii., Appendix X., p. 407 seq. 

9. The following is quoted from a letter written 
by the husband of Edith Wynne Matthison Charles 
Rann Kennedy, Esquire outlining the method by 
which his wife arrived at her perfect interpretation 
of the role of Everyman. The editor wishes to ac- 
knowledge his indebtedness to Mr. Kennedy for the 
privilege of quoting it, and for his interest through- 
out the preparation of this edition : 

" The costumes, scenery, accessories, and the 
general scheme of the * business ' of Everyman 
were solely due to Mr. William Poel, the founder 
of the Elizabethan Stage Society of England, but 
to Mrs. Kennedy is due everything that translates 
the part into a living reality not only those lit- 
tle subtleties of ' business ' and stage-movement 
that make her performance a model of dramatic 
technique, but also that deep psychological under- 

138 NOTES 

standing, and that spiritual exaltation which give 
it unity, consistence, and ' grip ' ! In the purely 
psychological analysis of the play, I suppose I 
must say that she was partly indebted to myself 
to four lectures that I delivered in London at Mr. 
Poel's request, when he first produced the play 

" The main points in this analysis took regard 
(first), of the increasingly narrowing rings of ob- 
jective influence to which Everyman makes appeal 
for company on his long journey: commencing 
with Fellowship the outermost ring of all he 
finally appeals to Goods of all the objectives (so 
to speak) of the soul, the term nearest. Then 
(secondly) the subjective analysis begins, and this 
also is worked out relentlessly, until finally only 
the naked soul itself returns to its God, the Good 
Deeds following after. 

" Again, another thread in the symbolism of the 
story we discovered in the fact that Everyman, up 
to the point of penance, seems to be merely man in 
the single, personal, you-and-I sense of the word; 
but after that point he takes on a double symbol- 
ism typifying Christ, the ' All-man ' ; following 
out which hint, my wife converted (mentally) the 
great prayer into the agony of Gethsemane, the 
procession into the way of the Cross, the failure 
of the soul's outermost functions into the denial of 
Peter and the forsaking of the disciples, and so 
forth. Moreover, I should like to say, too, that it 
matters little whether the audience directly or in- 
tellectually perceives my wife's intention in these 

NOTES 139 

points ; but it means practically everything that she 
should perceive it else the true unity and con- 
sistency of the part were impossible. 

" We understood Knowledge to represent prac- 
tically the Church the Bride of Christ in Hertflf 
as distinct from the Church in function as sym- 
bolized through Confession: a mediaeval distinction 
which I think is worth noticing; Knowledge here, 
of course, meaning divine knowledge (the Church 
being the depository thereof) as distinct from Dis- 
cretion the mere discerning, separating, intellec- 
tual faculty who fails finally with the rest. . . . 

" The order in which the four abstractions fade 
away is interesting and my wife tries to convey 
their import by her acting : Beauty first the out- 
ermost expression of the soul; then Strength, 
which underlies and quickens Beauty ; next Discre- 
tion that which, among other functions, directs 
Strength, and lastly the five metaphysical wits, or 
what one may call the instincts of Discretion. Then 
the soul itself is left free." 


[I have to acknowledge my indebtedness, in editing 
the text of Everyman, to Mr. Alfred Pollard, 
whose notes in his edition of English Miracle 
Plays proved of great value; to Hawkins, who, 
in his The Origin of the English Drama, made 
some text changes that have been noted ; and to 
Hazlitt's edition of Dodsley's Old English Plays 
(vol. i). 

May I add further my appreciation of the helpful 
suggestions received from Professor Brander 
Matthews, of Columbia University ; from Dr. 
Horace Howard Furness, editor of the Variorum 
Shakespeare; from Rev. Joseph H. McMahon, 
director of the New York Cathedral Library; 
and from Mr. Ben Greet, whose artistic insight 
did much to make the presentation of Everyman 
an established fact. I also wish to acknowledge 
the courtesies that have been extended to me by 
the Libraries of Columbia and Harvard Uni- 

I here desire to express my deep appreciation of the 
exquisite work of Mrs. Charles Rann Kennedy 
(Edith Wynne Matthison) in her re-creation of 
the role of Everyman. It was marked by the 
rich quality of her reading and by the refined 
intensity of her spiritual passion. Of her it 
might be said that in voice and gesture she 
would have found the rare, keen praise of Lamb. 



In editing the text, I have considered carefully the 
corrections made by the different editors before 
me, and have adopted those changes I thought 
consistent. In the following notes I have called 
attention to important text differences that have 
peculiar interest in themselves. The abbrevia- 
tions D., H., and P., wherever they occur, stand 
respectively for Dodsley, Hawkins, and Pollard. 
The present editor is alone responsible for de- 
cisions as to changes in readings and punctua- 

1. A cut of Everyman and Dethe follows this in the 

old editions. It may be found in Hawkin's 
The Origm of the English Drama, and in 
Dodsley's Old English Plays. In Dodsley are 
likewise given cuts of other characters in the 

2. The Dramatis Persona are given in the order in 

which appearance in play is made. 

3. The Messenger is the same character as the Doc- 

tour of the epilogue. 

4. Skot reads wonderous. 

5. Although the capital letter J was not introduced 

until A. D. 1630, it has been used throughout 
the text to avoid confusion. 

6. Certain lines would lead one to believe Christ the 

Speaker; Hawkins and Percy think so. But 
the general spirit of the speech indicates the 
Father. Dodsley (Hazlitt) thinks the Father 
is meant. 

7. ghostly: vid. ghoste: spirit. 

8. appayreth: impaireth, grow worse (D). 

142 NOTES 

9. renne: run. 

10. heven kynge: heaven's kmg (D). 

11. Pollard gives asketh. 

12. Pollard calls attention to Lincoln ed., which in 

place of ado writes / do; Hawkins follows 
Lincoln; Dodsley does not. 

13. reste: arrest; D. prints 'rrest. 

14. Dodsley inserts thou. 

15. in no way can this be. 

16. seke: sick. 

17. Dodsley inserts for editorially. 

18. And could I have xil years respite. 

19. The touch in this line is characteristically medi- 


20. be gete: been born, or been begotten. 

21. What though I should to Fellowship thereof 


22. // any have wronged you. 

23. The line is short, whereas account would seem 


24. Adonay: Hebrew for Lord God. 

25. sothe: sooth. 

26. The text might read Felawshyp; Dodsley edits 


27. To bringe me forwarde reads to escort me (P). 

28. Pollard reads thou for you. 

29. It is thought by some that this should be en- 

dynge to rime with the following line. 

30. With this line, so Dodsley notes, Pynson's edi- 

tion begins abruptly, the rest of the text being 
given in full. 

31. Proverbial expression. 

NOTES 143 

32. In this line the rime is broken ; should there be 

a rime ending? Dodsley adds lo. 

33. Dodsley reads do not spare. 

34. With additions, this line is interpreted by 

Dodsley as follows : We will live and die to- 

35. Hawkins would transpose the rimes holde and 

bolde. Context would not justify this change. 

36. Dodsley reads but. 

37. on understood. 

38. Medieval humor largely reached through bodily 


39. Skot, according to Hawkins, reads / will not. 

Dodsley does not agree. 

40. Dodsley reads No in place of Now. 

41. Dodsley inserts life, to which the text points. 

42. Proverbial expression. 

43. In place of he Dodsley reads it. 

44. Why, do you hasten? 

45. Dodsley reads / have had my pleasure in thee. 

46. Insertion of now by D. 

47. Pollard has a seemingly arbitrary way of spell- 

ing not; sometimes nat. I have adopted the 
uniform not. 

48. lesynge: loosing, releasing; inevitably (Far- 


49. Dodsley reads for the love of me. 

50. Dodsley reads have be. 

51. or has the force of before; Dodsley reads ere. 

52. wyte: blame (Sidgwick). 

53. Dodsley reads Nay, not fro this world. 

54. Pollard and Dodsley both insert great. 

144 NOTES 

55. Pollard reads And you do by me the journay 

with you wyll I take. He further interprets 
the first part of the line as meaning: If you 
will act by my advice. Dodsley agrees with 
above. Hawkins reads what. 

56. Of has the force of for. 

57. Instead of A ! se, Dodsley reads Behold. 

58. Dodsley reads / thank thee heartfully. 

59. Dodsley reads I pray you to instruct me by in- 

tellection (information, knowledge). 

60. Dodsley simply has voider. 

61. Dodsley makes a consistent change to pronoun 

7, since Knowlege is talking ; I leave the name, 
since it lends the tone of abstractness that 
makes the play a Morality. 

62. A typical line of the Miracle plays ; as likewise 

the two lines following. 

63. conduyter: conductor. 

64. Dodsley prints this line: prayers of thy benig- 


65. Dodsley reads Acquittance. 

66. Dodsley says Skot reads from hell and from the 


67. stounde: hour, season; Farmer reads sub sor- 

row, adversity. 

68. In place of or elles, Dodsley reads lest. Fur- 

ther he reads Lest before God it be unsweet. 

69. Pollard gives them, meaning the indications in 

Everyman's book. In Mr. Greet's production, 
Everyman's " rekenynge boke " is in evidence. 

70. I follow Pollard, in assigning this speech to 

Knowlege. Kynrede, to whom H. assigns it, 
left with Cosyn some time before. 

NOTES 145 

71. incontynent: incontinent. 

72. A note, taken from Hawkins, reads as follows: 

" Five wyttes, i. e., the Five Senses. These 
are frequently exhibited as five distinct per- 
sonages upon the Spanish stage (see Ricco- 
boni, p. 98) but our moralist has represented 
them all by one character. In Shakespeare's 
* King Lear,' the Madman says : * Bless thy 
five wits ! ' meaning the Five Senses." (Percy) 
Dodsley quotes this also. Thomas Percy, 
D. D. (Reliq. Ancient Eng. Poetry), writes: 
"... It may be observed that * Everyman ' 
is a grave, solemn piece, not without some 
rude attempts to excite terror and pity, and 
therefore may not improperly be referred to 
the class of tragedy. It is remarkable that in 
this old simple drama the fable is conducted 
upon the strictest model of the Greek trag- 
edy. The action is simply one, the time of 
action is that of the performance, the scene is 
never changed, nor the stage ever empty. 
Everyman, the hero of the piece, after his 
first appearance, never withdraws, except 
when he goes out to receive the sacraments, 
which could not well be exhibited in public, 
and during his absence Knowledge descants 
on the excellence and power of the priest- 
hood, somewhat after the manner of the 
Greek chorus. And, indeed, except in the 
circumstance of Everyman's expiring on the 
stage, the ' Samson Agonistes ' of Milton 
is hardly formed on a severer plan." 

146 NOTES 

73. Dodsley reads To help and comfort him. 

74. This note is given by Dodsley : " This portion 

has been collated with the Douce fragment 
printed by Pynson (Shakespeare Society 
Papers, III, 149), as well as with the other 
impression by Pynson in the British 

75. Dodsley reads / it bequeath to be returned. 

There following would indicate where. 

76. oyntement: unction (D). 

77. Dodsley reads take. 

78. Thou refers to preest; Dodsley gives those* 

which is not consistent. The context could 
justify the use of pronoun he in lines follow- 
ing, instead of the direct address as given in 
Hawkins. Some editions give He. 

79. Skot gives your; so does H. This does not seem 

to be consistent, so I leave our. 

80. Dodsley reads Now Jesus Christ be your alder 

speed. Hawkins omits word Christ. 

81. Skot gives dyde. Pollard refers to /. Mace. 

iii. 3, 4. 

82. Skot reads And tourne to erth and there to 

slepe. This line is assigned to Beaute by 
Dodsley, and the assignments of lines follow- 
ing are generally mixed. I have followed the 
sense of the text. 

83. Instead of ye consume Pollard reads we con- 

sume and interprets more and lesse as mean- 
ing great people and little. 

84*. Take, meaning doff. 

85. Dodsley reads Beaute doth fast away hie. 


86. Pynson and Dodsley both read Strength, tary, I 

pray you. 

87. The line as it stands is Skot's; Pollard and 

Dodsley suggest for sake of rime the follow- 
ing for the proverbial expression : Yet prom- 
yse is dette, this ye well wot. 

88. Pynson and Dodsley read Is greatly deceived. 

89. For rime, Pynson and Dodsley read Stedfast to 

be; Pollard also. 

90. Dodsley reads Everyman diet. 

91. Dodsley makes this a special reference to Every- 


92. Dodsley reads This memory all men. 

93. of has the force of for what it is worth. 

94. Dodsley edits: (them he) there doth take. 

95. Two interesting imprints follow the different 

manuscripts, and read: 

Imprynted at London in Poules chyrche yarde 

by me John Skot. 
Imprynted at London in Flete Strete 1 1 by me 

Rycharde Pynson || prynter to the kynges 

moost noble grace. 


[The following bibliography is not intended to be 
exhaustive ; it gives a few works covering the differ- 
ent periods surveyed in the Introduction. In many 
of the books mentioned there are to be found .more 
comprehensive bibliographies for the student who 
wishes to continue the subject further.] 



Theatre und Kirche in Ihrem Gegenseitigen Ver- 
haltniss Historisch Dargestellt. (Berlin, 1846) 


Le Clerge Normand au XIIP Siecle. (1846-7, 

p. 479) 

History of the Christian Church. (N. Y., 1887) 

La Chaire Fran9aise au Moyen Age, speciale- 

ment au XIIP Siecle d'apres les Manuscrits 

Contemporains. (Paris, 1886) 

History of Christianity [bk. iv; vol. iii; ch. i.]. 

(London, 1863) 

History of the Christian Church, from the Birth 

of Christ to the Reign of Constantine. (N. Y., 






Rutebeuf [Les Grands Ecrivains Francais]. 
(Paris, 1898) 


L'Art Harmonique aux XIP et XIIP Siecles. 

(Paris, 1865) 

Drames Liturgiques du Moyen Age. (Ren- 

nes, 1860) 

Les Origines Latines du Theatre Moderne. 

(Paris, 1897) 

Histoire de la Poesie Liturgique au Moyen Age : 

Les Tropes. (Paris, 1886) 

Magnin, C. vide vols. for 1860, 1861. 



Histoire du Theatre en France au Moyen Age: 

Les Mysteres. [2 vols.] (Paris, 1880) 

Histoire de la Langue et de la Litterature 

Fran9aise des Origines a 1900. [7 vols.] 

(Paris, 1896-99) 

Essais Historiques sur les Bardes, les Jongleurs, 

et les Trouveres. (Caen, 1834) 

History of French Literature. [3 vols] (N. Y., 


Histoire Generale du IV* Siecle a Nos Jour. 

[vol. ii] (Paris, 1893 seq.) 



Etudes sur les Mysteres. (Paris, 1837) 


Etudes sur les Barbares et le Moyen Age. 
(Paris, 1861) 


Manuel des Institutions Fra^aises, Periode des 
Capetiens Directs. (Paris, 1892) 

Les Origines du Theatre Antique et du Theatre 
Moderne; ou, Histoire du Genie Dramatique 
depuis le I er jusqu'au XVF Siecle. (Paris, 1868) 
Vide Journal des Savants. 


Theatre Fra^ais au Moyen Age [XP-XIV 8 

siecle.] (Paris, 1879) 

La Litterature Fran9aise au Moyen Age. [XP - 

XIV 6 siecles.] (Paris, 1888) 

Recueil de Motets Fran9ais des XII e et XIIP 

Siecles. [Vol. ii] 


Etudes sur le Theatre Francais du XIV e et du 
XV Siecles .... Les Miracles de Notre- 
Dame. (Paris, 1902) [This was followed by 
a second study, " Le Jour du Jugement." Paris, 

Le Jour du Jugement: Mystere Francais 

sur le Grand Schisme. [6tude sur le Theatre 
Fran9ais au XIV e siecle.] (Paris, 1902) 



Les Mysteres de la Passion en France du XIV* 
au XVP Siecle (Revue Bourguignonne-Uni- 
versite de Dijon. 1903, vol. 13, nos. 3-4) [In 
the second part, vol. 14, 1904, nos. 3-4, the au- 
thor considers " La Theologie et le Developpe- 
ment du Mystere de la Passion au XV* siecle.] 


Le Drame Chretien au Moyen Age. (Paris, 

Les Prophetes du Christ. I^tude sur les 

Origines du Theatre au Moyen Age. (vide Bib- 
liotheque de 1'ecole des Chartes. Series 6, vols. 
iii, iv, 1867, 1868) 

Les Plus Anciens Drames en Langue Fran- 

9aise. (Paris, 1894) 


Les Debuts de la Critique Dramatique en Angle- 
terre. (1893) 

[To quote Professor Schelling : " . . . val- 
uable material concerning the attitude of the 
clergy towards the drama."] 


Histoire de la Litterature Dramatique en France 
depuis ses Origines jusqu'au Cid. (Paris, 1873) 


Exempla, or Illustrative Stories from the Ser- 
moneg Vulgares. (Folk Lore Soc. Pub. ed. 


Saint Louis et Son Temps. (Paris, 1876) 



La Naissance de 1'Element Comique dans le 
Theatre Religieux. (In Congres Internationales 
d'histoire comparee, 1900. Annales interna- 
tionales d'histoire, 1901, vol. vi, pp. 49-69) 

Les Origines du Drame Liturgique. (Acad. 

Roy. de Belg. Bulletin de la classe des lettres, 
pp. 715-748, Bruxelles, 1901) 



Quellen des weltlichen Dramas in England vor 
Shakespeare. [Quellen und Forschungen, Ixxx] 


Geschichte des neueren Dramas (Halle A. S. 
verlag von Max Niemeyer) [vol. i Mittelalter 
und Friihrenaissance (1893) ; vol. ii Renais- 
sance und Reformation (1901) ; vol iii Renais- 
sance und Reformation (1903)] 


History of German Literature as Determined by 
Social Forces. (N. Y., 1901) 


Das Drama des Mittelalters. Erster Teil. Die 
Lateinischen Osterfeiern in Deutschland. Os- 
terspiele; Passionspiele. (Stuttgart, 1891) 


Geschichte des Dramas. [13 vols.] (Leipzig, 
1865-76.) [Vol. ii Das Drama der Rdmer; 
vol. iii Das aussereuropaische Drama und die 
latein. Schauspiele n. Chr. bis Ende d. X, 


Jahrhunderts ; vols. xii, xiii Das Englische 

Die Lateinischen Osterfeiern: Untersuchungen 
iiber den Ursprung und die Entwickelung der 
Liturgisch - dramatischen Auferstehnngsfeier. 
(Munchen, 1887) 


Die Oster- und Passionspiele : [vol. i.] Die Lat- 
einischen Osterfeiern. (Wolfenbiittel, 1880) 


Schauspiele des Mittelalters. [2 Bde.] (Karls- 
ruhe, 1846) 


Geschichte des Neueren Dramas. [3 vols.] 
(Leipzig, 1880, 1881, 1883) 


Les Passions Allemandes du Rhin, dans leur 
Rapport avec 1'Ancien Theatre Fra^ais. 
[Acad. Roy. de Belgique, Mem. vol. Iv, no. 10] 
(Brussels, 1896-98) 


Die Oster- und Passionspiele bis zum XVI Jahr- 
hundert Beitrage zur Geschichte des Deutschen 



Introduction to English Economic History and 
Theory. (London, 1888-93) 


Beginnings of Town Life in the Middle 

Ages. (Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1896, 
vol. x, p. 359) 


The English Religious Drama. (N. Y., 1893) 

English Drama : A Working Basis. (Wel- 

lesley College, 1896. Bibliography) 


Mediaeval England: English Feudal Society 
from the Norman Conquest to the middle of the 
Fourteenth Century. [The Story of the Na- 
tions series.] (Putnam, 1904) 
The Mediaeval Stage. (Scottish Histori- 
cal Review, vol. i, pp. 399-406. Glasgow, July, 

The Charters of the Borough of Cam- 
bridge [ed. F. W. Maitland and Mary Bate- 
son.]. (Cambridge, 1901) 


The Mediaeval Stage. [2 vols.] (Oxford, 1903.) 
[This is one of the most exhaustive treatments 
of the subject published in English. List of 
Authorities, vol. i, pp. xiii-xlii. Complete rec- 
ords and lists in Appendices, vol. ii, pp. 229- 


History of English Dramatic Poetry to the 
Time of Shakespeare. (London, 1831) 


Studies in the English Mystery Plays. (Yale 
University, 1892) 



A Chronicle History of the London Stage, 1559- 
1642. (1890) 


The Star of Bethlehem : A Miracle Play of the 
Nativity, reconstructed from the Towneley and 
other old English Cycles (of the XIHth, XlVth, 
and XVth Centuries), and Supplemented and 
Adapted to Modern Conditions, as Composed 
for Mr. Ben Greet, and Presented by his Com- 
pany. (Fox, Duffield, 1904) [With an intro- 
duction and wood-cuts; in the same form as 
same publisher's modernized version of " Every- 

Representative English Comedies. (Mac- 

millan, 1903.) [Introductory Essay: An His- 
torical View of the Beginnings of English 
Comedy, pp. xiii-xcii.] 

Plays of Our Forefathers : and some of 

the traditions upon which they were founded. 
(Duffield, 1907) [A more popular treatment 
than that by Chambers ; excellent illustrations.] 

The Earlier Miracle Plays in England. 

[The International Quarterly, vol. x, Oct., 1904, 
pp. 108-129] 

The Later Miracle Plays of England. 

[The International Quarterly, vol. xii, Oct., 
1905, pp. 67-88] 


Everyman, Homulus, und Hekastus. (Hanover, 
1865.) [Containing text] 



The Gild Merchant. (Oxford, 1890) 


Influence and Development of English Gilds, as 
Illustrated by the History of the Craft Gilds of 
Shrewsbury. (Cambridge, Eng., 1891) 


Ancient Mysteries described, especially the Eng- 
lish Miracle Plays founded on Apocryphal New 
Testament Story. (London, 1823) 


Le Theatre en Angleterre depuis la Conquete 
jusqu'aux Predecesseurs Immediats de Shake- 
speare. (Paris, 1881.) [See Chap, ii Les 
Mysteres; Chap, iii Les Moralites] 

A Note on Pageants and ' Scaffolds Hye.' 

[xxiii In " An English Miscellany presented 
to Dr. Furnivall." Oxford, 1901] 

A Literary History of the English People. 

[2 vols. issued; still in course of publication. 
Vol. i, chap, vi, The Theatre: Origins Civil 
Sources ; Religious Sources ; Literary and His- 
torical value of Mysteries ; Decay of the 
Mediaeval Stage.] (Putnam, 1895, 1896) See 
also the same author's " English Wayfaring 
life in the Middle Ages." 


A Contribution to a Bibliography of the Mediae- 
val Drama. {Mod. Lang. Notes, xx, 1905, 
Nov., pp. 202-205) 


Shakspere and His Forerunners: Studies in 


Elizabethan Poetry and Its Development from 
Early English. [2 vols.] (Doubleday, Page, 
1902.) [Sumptuous in form and illustration] 


Specimens of the Pre-Shaksperean Drama. 
[With introduction, notes, and glossary.] 
(3 vols, 1897) 


A History of Theatrical Art in Ancient and 
Modern Times. [Translated by Louise von 
Cossel; vide Greek Theatre, Roman Theatre, 
Ecclesiastical Plays, Secular Plays. A four vol- 
ume work of value, with bibliographies.] (Lon- 
don, 1903, 1904, 1905) 


The Development of the Drama. (Scribner, 
1903.) [The chapter on "The Mediaeval 
Drama " appeared originally in Mod. PhiloL, 
June, 1903.] 


The Infancy of the English Drama. (Hagen, 


English Miracle Plays and Moralities. (Lon- 
don, 1907) 


English Writers, [vols, ii, iii (Hilarius), iv.] 
(London, 1899) 


English Miracle Plays, Moralities, and Inter- 
ludes [Introduction and Notes]. (Clarendon 
Press, 1898) 



Mediaeval Guilds of England. (Am. Econ. 
Assoc. Pub., 1887) 


Dissertation on the Pageants or Dramatic Mys- 
teries Anciently Performed at Coventry. (Cov- 
entry, 1825) 


Elizabethan Drama. [2 vols.] (Houghton, 
Mifflin, 1908) [Contains chapters on the Old 
Sacred Drama, the Morality, and the Earlier 
Secular Plays; also a concise bibliographical 
chapter which may be used as a working basis] 

The English Chronicle Play : A Study in 

the Popular Historical Literature Environing 
Shakespeare. (Macmillan, 1902) [This refer- 
ence is given, since the Chronicle Play, as a 
type, like the Morality as a type, brings the de- 
velopment continuously from the Trope to the 
Elizabethan drama.] 


The Transition Period. (Edinburgh, 1900) 
[Chap, vii Dramatic Origins: The Drama in 
France; Chap, viii The Drama in England 
and in Scotland ; Chap, ix The Drama in Ger- 


English Gilds : The Original Ordinances. (Lon- 
don, 1870) [This is a collection of significant 


References for Students of Miracle Plays and 


Mysteries. (University of California. Library 
Bulletin. No. 8, 1887) 


Shakespere's Predecessors in the English 
Drama. (London, 1884) 


Geschichte der Englischen Literatur. [vol. ii. ; 
tr., William Clarke Robinson.] (N. Y., 1889) 


The Influence of Popular Customs on the Mys- 
tery Plays. (Jour. Eng. and German Phttol., 
vol. v, no. 3, pp. 323-340.) [Containing foot- 
notes of bibliographical value.] 
Comedy in the Mystery Plays of Eng- 
land. [Harvard University Thesis, 1906] 

WARD, A. W. 

History of English Dramatic Literature to the 
Death of Queen Anne. (London, 1899) 


Early Mysteries, and other Latin Poems of the 
Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries. (London, 
1838) [With an Introduction.] 


ADAM. Palustre, L. Adam, Mystere du XII* Sie- 
cle. (Paris, 1877) 

lish Miracle Plays. 

CHESTER MYSTERIES. Wright, Thomas [ed.] 
(Shakespeare Society. Issued in 1853 as vol. i. 
of Supplement to Dodsley's Old Plays.) 


COVENTRY CYCLE. Halliwell-Phillips, J. O. [ed.] 
Ludus Coventrise. (Shakespeare Society, 1841) 
EVERYMAN. Farmer, John S. Six Anonymous 
Plays. First Series (c. 1510-1537) Everyman 
[pp. 89-122, including woodcuts and notes]. 
(London: Printed privately for subscribers by 
the Early English Drama Society, 1905 ; also 
reproduced separately in " The Museum Dra- 
matists, No. 3.") 

Greg, W. W. (Reprint from ed. by John 
Skot, preserved at Britwell Court.) 
[Materialien zur kunde des alteren Eng- 
lischen Dramas. Leipzig, 1904] 
Hawkins, Thomas Origin of the Eng- 
lish Drama, [vol. i] (Oxford, 1773) 
Hazlitt's Dodsley. [vol. i] (London, 1874) 

Logeman, H. Elckerlyc Everyman, de 

Vraag naar de prioriteit opnieuw onder- 
zocht. (Universite de Gand, Recueil de 
travaux, 28 fascicule.) Gand. Vuylsteke, 

Museum Dramatists. (Published for 
Early English Drama Society. Lon- 
don, 1904) 
Pollard, A. W. English Miracle Plays. 

Fifteenth Century Prose and Verse. 

[An English Garner. Everyman, pp. 
277-304.] (Westminster, 1903) 
Roersch, A. Elckerlijc Everyman 
Homulus Hekastus. (Archiv. fur das 
Studium der Neueren Sprachen und 
Literaturen, cxiii, 1904, pp. 13-16) 


Sidgwick, F. Reprint. (London, 1902) 

Religieuse Allemande du X* Siecle (en Francais) 
avec le Texte Latin Revu sur le Manuscrit de 
Munich. (Introduction et Notes.) Charles 
Magnin. [Paris, 1845] 

INTERLUDE OF YOUTH. Hazlitt's Dodsley. [vol. ii] 
LUSTY JUVENTUS. Hazlett's Dodsley. [vol. ii] 
MARY MAGDALENE. Dr. Furnivall's ed. Digby Mys- 

Pollard, A. W. English Miracle Plays. 
MIRACLES DE NOTRE-DAME. MS. 2 vols. Bibl. Nat. 

819, 820. 

PROPHETES DU CHRIST. Drama found in MS. Bibl. 
Nat. Fonds Latin, 1139. Consult also: 
Coussemaker, A. Drames Liturgiques. [No. 

2, p. 11] 

Magnin. Journal des Savants. (Feb., 

Du Meril. Origines Latines. [p. 179] 
RESURRECTION, La. Monmerque et Michel. Thea- 
tre Fran9ais au Moyen Age. [pp. 10-20] 

(Paris, 1879) 
ST. NICHOLAS. Monmerque et Michel. Theatre Fr. 

au Moyen Age. [pp. 158-207] 
THEOPHILE. Monmerque et Michel. Theatre Fr., 

etc. [pp. 136-156] 
TOWNELEY MYSTERIES. Pollard, A. W. [ed.] [Early 

English Text Society.] (London, 1897) 
YORK MYSTERIES. Smith, Lucy Toulmin. [ed.] 

[Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1885] 


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